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Tourism sector to be badly hit: Minister Kadakkampally Surendran

Tourism sector to be badly hit: Minister Kadakkampally Surendran

Thiruvananthapuram: Tourism industry in Kerala will take a severe hit following the recent Supreme Courts order on liquor bars, Tourism Minister, Kadakkampally Surendran Monday said.

The apex courts order that liquor shops within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down from April 1, will not only have an adverse impact on the beer parlours, but also hit the transport sector on which tourists mainly rely on, the minister said in a statement here. The decision will also be a setback to Keralas conference tourism, he said.

The state, which is emerging as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, conference and exhibition) destination, could be affected as there are chances that not only International tourism conferences, but also state conferences could get cancelled, he said. It will also be a big blow to entrepreneurs who have invested in crores in tourism sector as the crisis will result in resorts and hotels being forced to close down due to lack of customers.

The business of 4 premium hotels of KTDC at Munnar, Thekkady, Kumarkkom and Kovalam will also be adversely affected, the Minister said.

Of the 40 beer parlours being run by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), 29 will have to be closed down.

During the current fiscal, KTDC is targeting a turnover of rs 48 crore and Rs 12.13 crore in net profit from the beer parlours.

With the closure, there will be a loss of Rs 5 crore as taxes to the government. Besides, the Central would also lose Rs one crore as service tax, he said.

At least 500 persons will lose their jobs. The closing down of beer parlours of KTDCs famous Chaitram and Muscat hotels in the capital will affect the very existence of the two premium hotels, he said adding such a situation had arisen when the KTDC was planning to renovate them. The South Indian Hotels Association has also demanded that government should re-designate national and state highways.

In a statement, they said their business will be affected very badly, the association said in a release.

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