The Indonesian Government is considering banning alcohol after politicians from a number of parties backed the idea.
The bill is being promoted by the United Development Party and the Prosperous Justice Party, Islamist political parties, and Gerindra, a nationalist party.
If passed, the law would ban alcoholic beverages ranging in strength from 1% to 55% and it would be an offence to produce, store, sell or consume alcoholic drinks.
However there is increasing opposition in Bali, where tourism is a major part of the economy.
“It is too superficial; Bali will definitely reject it…. We are a unitary state built on diversity, and the potential economic impact involved is unacceptable.””AA Ngurah Adi Ardhana, Chairman of Bali’s regional legislative council via the Daily Mail in Australia.
6.3 million tourists visited Bali in 2019 making it a key area of the GDP but the pandemic has seen a 95% fall in tourist numbers so far this year.
A number of exceptions are being considered although it is not clear how exemption certificates would work and who would qualify for them. Exemptions could include tourists and religious ceremonies.
“We are currently already struggling with the pandemic. How will we get people to come when our border reopens? How are we supposed to revive tourism in Bali, or in Indonesia? Not only international tourists but also domestic tourists will think why should they go to Bali for a holiday when they can’t even enjoy a bottle of beer?”
Establishments like hotels would not be allowed to sell alcohol without a permit, to begin with. What needs to be done is to ensure the current laws on alcohol beverages are implemented properly. We already have limitations for example on where and who can sell alcohol… the proposed law is not needed.”Ricky Putra, chairman of the Bali Hotel Association via The Sydney Morning herald
“We are currently already struggling with the pandemic. How will we get people to come when our border reopens? How are we supposed to revive tourism in Bali, or in Indonesia? Not only international tourists but also domestic tourists will think why should they go to Bali for a holiday when they can’t even enjoy a bottle of beer?” he said.
More than 25% of tourists in Bali are from Australia due to cheap and short flights.
Photo credit Timo Wagner on Unsplash
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