Booze-Free Hotels

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Keith Humphreys stays at an alcohol-free hotel in Morocco and wonders if this might be a workable market niche in non-Muslim countries:

>I wonder if a chain of hotels without alcohol could make it as a niche market in the U.S. Religiously conservative travelers might like it, just as they do in Marrakech. Families with small kids are another potential source of customers as are I suspect women travelling alone who would like to know that there will not be drunken males in the restaurant or the lobby or anywhere else. People in recovery from alcoholism might also be drawn in. And of course such hotels could also get business from people like me, who wouldn’t book a hotel on this basis but at the same time don’t care enough about alcohol unavailability to let it stop them from staying at the hotel for other reasons (in my case because it was across the street from where our symposium was held).

I doubt it. Alcoholic beverages are such a high-margin profit for hotels that it creates a huge incentive for them to try to put people in their rooms and restaurant seats on the off-chance that they’ll buy a drink. Consequently, non-drinkers are probably getting a great deal from hotels and would have to pay higher prices for something else (food, rooms) since that stuff couldn’t act as a loss-leader for the booze. So people would need to put substantially more value on the non-availability of alcohol than I think is plausible.