The new liquor policy announced by the LDF government will upgrade Kerala’s status as a prominent tourism destination, state Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said today. He said the Kerala government is looking at doubling the number of domestic tourists and 50 per cent increase in foreign arrivals by 2021. The minister was highlighting the state government’s plans for the tourism sector while inaugurating the second edition of International Conference on Tourism Technology (ICTT). He noted that the new liquor policy, which allows bar licences to restaurants in hotels of three-star category, would boost the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) tourism in the state. “Though the availability of liquor is not the sole reason for choosing a venue for an event, it is part of urban lifestyle.The earlier policy had adversely affected the MICE tourism sector. Now, the new policy will help it,” he said. His statement comes a day after the state government unveiled its new liquor policy by deciding to open closed bar outlets in three stars and above-classified hotels besides allowing the serving of toddy in these hotels from July one. The minister said digital platforms are the key to achieve the goal of increasing numbers of tourists. “Year after year, we see a constant growth in the number of tourists we host.”
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“Hence the industry needs to evolve in accordance with the changes in the global market. Kerala Tourism has been exploring new media as a key platform and has witnessed the reach and response to it,” he noted. Terming ICTT as “the gateway to improving our social media presence,” he said it would eventually enhance the tourism sector. The ICTT, which concludes tomorrow, is being organised by Association of Tourism Trade Organisation with support from Kerala Tourism.