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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Post prohibition, six out of 10 domestic travellers plan to skip Kerala

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 04, 2014
First Published: 20:38 IST(4/9/2014) | Last Updated: 02:46 IST(5/9/2014)
Nearly six out of 10 Indian travellers who are planning holidays to Kerala could call off their trips after the upcoming prohibition on liquor sales in the state, a 30-city survey has found.
 
Around 58% of respondents said that they would not plan a vacation to ‘God’s Own Country’ after the state decided to ban sales of liquor, excepting some hotels. Last week, the Kerala government proposed a new liquor policy which stated that only five-star properties in the state would be permitted to serve alchohol which meant that hundreds of liquor vendors and permit rooms selling alchohol in the state would be forced to pull down their shutters forever. Even as the policy permitted 5-star hotels to offer bar service looking with an eye on the state’s massive tourism revenues conditions such as mandatory dry days on Sundays could coax travellers to avoid the destination, said travel operators.
 
“Kerala is usually a long weekend destination for domestic travellers. As a result having dry days on Sunday would impact the holidaymakers’ decision,” said a Colaba-based travel operator requesting anonymity.
 
Travellers agree. City based frequent traveller Raju Pillai said that he would prefer a Goa over Kerala if the ban comes into effect. "It is logical to pick a destination such as Goa which offers all kinds of staying option as against spending too much at a 5-star property in Kerala," said the 31-year-old working with an IT-enabled services firm in Goregaon.
 
Travel advisory portal, HolidayIQ.com, conducted the survey by distributing online questionnaires among that polled 5000 domestic travellers. The survey also said that a majority of male respondents (61%) were perturbed by the liquor ban while only a minority  of women travellers (37%) were agitated about the ban.Among metro cities vacationers from Delhi were most upset (72%) with the prohibition followed by Mumbai (68%) and Bangalore (64%).
 
According to data from Kerala tourism department foreign tourists arrivals in the state increased by 8.12% to 8.58 lakh and domestic travellers grew by 7.75% to 1.08 crore until 2013. Nationally, the state stood seventh in drawing foreign tourists according to data from the union ministry of tourism. Tourism earned revenues worth Rs. 22,926 crores (both direct and indirect) indicating an increase of 12.22% between 2012 and 2013, the data added.

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