“End Drunk Driving, Not Hotels” - HRAWI Fears 1Mn Job Loss and 15,000 Shutdowns due to Liquor Ban
“The core drinkers will go any distance, get their drink and drive ahead,” says the hotelier entrepreneurs who fear job loss for one million and a major dent to the hospitality industry
Photo Credit : holidify.com,
Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), the apex body of restaurateurs and hoteliers of Western India, has initiated a full-fledged social media campaign on the recent issue of liquor ban which is expected to affect over one million jobs and make many restaurateurs and hoteliers bankrupt. It has been the contention of the association that while drunk driving is a menace and should be strictly punished, associating drunken driving with hotels is untenable and unfair.
“Through social media we will convey a few facts that, in normal times, would have been apparent. In the current state, unfortunately, facts are obscured by surround sound. The facts to be considered are alcoholism is a disease and a social evil; drunken driving is a crime; and, hotels and restaurants serve alcohol. What is of significance is that these facts are not correlated. Any arrow of continuity that may exist is forced. The compulsive alcoholic will find ways and means for consuming alcohol and he will continue to drive after drinking. Just as locking up girls at home is not a solution for preventing rapes, banning hotels from serving liquor cannot be a solution for ending the menace of drunk driving. Drunk driving is a crime, and it should be treated as one,” says Mr. Dilip Datwani, president, HRAWI.
HRAWI will run a series of hashtags on Facebook that will try and explain some of the common misconceptions. “One million jobs, Rs. 200,000 crores loss to the exchequer, possible closure of 15,000 establishments is not a small thing. It is a huge social cost to pay. And we would not have minded being sacrificed if the ban were to yield any results. But reality is that all the job losses and other damages would be wasted. Statistics prove that there is a correlation between drunk driving and enforcement; and not between drunk driving and number of restaurants and bars. If true, there would be no drunk driving cases in Bihar or Gujarat where we have total prohibition,” adds Mr. Datwani.
“Most of the affected hotels cater to city residents and not interstate drivers. We are legal licensed establishments that contribute to the nation’s GDP and have played a pivotal role in the growth of the nation’s tourism. With a single stroke the industry has been crippled. HRAWI has always promoted responsible drinking,” says Mr. Kamlesh Barot, past president, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI).
The digital media campaign of HRAWI will focus on taglines that include “Penalize Drunk Driving Not People”, “Save Night Life Save Tourism”, and “Save Hotels Save Jobs” among others. The issue will be brought before the people’s court.
Hotel and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI)
The Hotel and Restaurant Association (Western India) is a 67 year old association whose members include smaller hotels to the 5-star deluxe properties. The bulk of its members like any growth economy are made up of budget hotels. HRAWI covers Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and the Union Territories of Daman, Diu & Silvassa, and is considered to be the voice of the hotel Industry.
HRAWI’s Facebook campaign snippets: https://www.facebook.com/Hotel-and-Restaurant-Association-Western-India-290861691349770/
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