Hospitality sector investors jittery over liquor ban

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Investors who had pumped in their money and are keen to invest in the hospitality sector of Kerala are jittery over the Supreme Court ordered curbs on liquor vends within 500 metres of the National and State Highways.

The private stakeholders, who have a pivotal role in the growth of tourism industry, has an upper hand in the hospitality sector with their 12,000 rooms in over 400 classified hotels, reports The Hindu.

It is feared that the investors will back out from the hotels and tourism-related projects as the curbs have affected investor confidence.

UAE-based businessman M.A. Yusuffali’s upcoming multi-crore international convention centre and hotel project in Kochi’s Bolgatty Island will not get a bar licence due to the close proximity to the road corridor.

Lulu Grant Hyatt & Convention Centre, a dream project of the group is being billed as south India’s largest international convention centre with a seating capacity of 4,000 to 6,000 people.

The five-star hotel would have suites meant for heads of states and facilities to host diplomatic conferences.

Similarly, those behind many upcoming hotels and convention centres close to the National Highway (NH) and State Highway (SH) corridors are in a dilemma over the future of their projects as the business model of the food and beverage industry has been hit. By present rates, a sum of Rs. 1.5 to 2 crore is needed for the construction and furnishing of a room in a five-star hotel.

“Who will be ready to invest in massive projects if it is denied permission to serve liquor and when there is no guarantee of any return,” asks Jose Dominic, managing director of CGH Earth.

The sentiment of investors is very low now and Kerala desperately needs job creating investments in tourism sector as Information Technology sectors have not been able to rise to expectations despite having an initial edge, he says.


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