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Alcohol ban hits hotels in India


Ban is blow to an estimated 50% of all hotels in the country
A new ban on alcohol sales in all buildings within 500 metres of state and national highways in India has dealt a serious blow to the hotel industry.
As many as 50% of all hotels in the country are said to be affected, including such big names as the Oberoi Gurgaon, Westin Mumbai, Le Meridien Kochi and Radisson Guwahati, to name just a few.
It could even result in the closure of more than 100,000 hotels and cost states and the industry 20,000 crore rupees (€3 billion), the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India estimates. The federation is legal action.
The impact on banquet business is expected to be massive. Sudesh Poddar, director of the Nataraj Group of Hotels, tells TTG Asia that half a hotel’s revenue comes through F&B sales.
“We expect that 60-70% of the banqueting business of hotels close to the highways will be gone,” he said.
S M Shervani, managing director of the Shervani Group, expects many hotels will be forced to close down.
“At a time when we are competing with global markets, the move doesn’t augur well for the industry. The liquor ban has hit badly entrepreneurs who have taken loans to invest in building hotels.”
Many owners of new projects are now considering using the land for other purposes, such as a mall or housing complex. Construction of a new Marriott property in Guwahati, for example, are considering other options.
TTG Asia


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