To add to the zing of the festive spirit in Gujarat, liquor is flowing high in the dry state’s permit stores. With the Diwali celebrations round the corner, coupled with the ICC World Cup in progress, permit liquor stores have seen sales get higher by at least 25%.
Premium liquor and wine are flying off the shelves in a jiffy as tourists both from India and aboard are swooping down to Ahmedabad.
According to the state prohibition department, the number of liquor health permits issued was 41,000 as of December 2022. Ease in processing new permit applications as well as reduced pendency in renewals has further added to the number of permit holders over the past one year, further pushing up sales, say store owners.
“Sales are significantly high to both, liquor health permit holders as well as visitor permit holders. Over the past couple of months, Gujarat has seen high-profile visits and has hosted the India-Pakistan match on its soil. As a result, liquor sales were about five times from normal,” said the owner of a liquor permit store attached to a city hotel. Similar demand is expected around the WC final.
“Our procurement of imported liquor including single malts and wines has increased by at least 50% in a year alone. This is because people having health permits are well-travelled and therefore, seek out imported brands. Moreover, Ahmedabad often sees an influx of foreign travellers and people from other states due to higher industrialisation and cosmopolitanisation of the population here. Nowadays, buyers come with specific brand preferences,” said a source in the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants’ Association (FHRA) – Gujarat.
“The duty-free liquor store at the city airport is often not operational. As a result, procurements are diverted to permit liquor stores,” the hotelier added.
Over the past three years, as more five-star hotels forayed into the Ahmedabad market, the number of permit liquor stores have also gone up with the Taj Skyline and Leela Gandhinagar opening their permit stores.
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