Kerala is one of the major tourist destinations in India, with tourism constituting more than 10% of the state’s total GDP. In 2022, Kerala witnessed an inflow of 1.88 crore domestic tourists and 3.45 lakh foreign tourists. Homestays are one of the most popular accommodations and an economic activity in the tourism industry. They are often run by low and middle income people in Kerala. It is popular among tourists who want to interact with the local culture, lifestyle, social system and people. The proposed project will work towards removing the existing barriers for homestay owners to tap and serve toddy on their premises, thereby securing their rights.
The Kerala Liquor Policy 2023-24 has the aim of encouraging and promoting the locally produced palm wine known as toddy, thereby sustaining the toddy sector and the livelihood of the toddy tappers. For the same, the policy proposes various measures, including licence for hotels and resorts above the 3-star classification to tap toddy from coconut and palm trees within their premises and sell it to inhouse guests. However, the policy is not extending the same to home stays that form a major part of the tourism industry, providing accommodation to both foreigners and domestic tourists in the state.
The research project will look into the gaps in the policy and the inadvertent consequences.
A change in policy will enable more options for tourists in homestays to explore the local cuisine by providing them access to freshly tapped and unadulterated toddy. This will also play a major role in boosting the income of toddy tappers in Kerala.
A report will be submitted to key Kerala government officials with policy recommendations to understand the grievances of around 4000 homestay owners and 25000 toddy tappers in Kerala, who will benefit by the policy change that will secure the livelihood opportunities of homestay owners and toddy tappers.