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Published on : Thursday, August 11, 2016
A travel expert has expressed concerns over the proposed alcohol ban in Indonesia stating that it might adversely impact the country’s tourism industry. PHRI (Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association) is visibly upset over the government’s decision to prohibit alcohol throughout the nation.
The Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) as well as the United Development Party (PPP) have presented this bill to the House of Representatives for the purpose of debate.
The government has proposed to ban the consumption, distribution and production of alcoholic beverages between 1% and 55%. This decision of the Indonesian government has sparked several debates in this country since travel industry chiefs feel that it is likely to threaten the tourism industry from important markets.
Hariyadi Sukamdani, head of PHRI told the media that once the bill would be passed, their business would go for a toss simply because the tourists who are mostly from Europe are used to be dependent on alcohol throughout their stay in Indonesia.
Sukamdani added that the absence of alcohol would make things quite inconvenient for the tourists. He said that though Indonesia is a beautiful country, the prohibition of alcohol would discourage the tourists from visiting this part of the world.
A spokesperson for ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) said that alcohol is not sole motivator that drives UK holidaymakers to Indonesia. Having said that, banning the production and sale of alcohol might repel some travellers.
He went on to add that the alcohol ban would particularly jeopardize tourism sector in Bali Island that bears a reputation among young travellers as a ‘party island’.
The spokesperson also stated that instead of completely banning alcoholic drinks, the Indonesia government should prohibit the sale of illegally distilled alcohol that contains methanol that was responsible for the deaths of numerous holidaymakers and regional inhabitants since the last few years. He then said that banning the sale of alcohol might worsen the issue further.
Last year, small retailers were prohibited from selling beer by the Indonesian authorities, amidst outcry from tourist industry experts and alcohol industry. According to this ban, the sale of pre-mixed drinks and beer like soft drinks and spirits was declared illegal in 55,000 small shops and 16,000 minimarts. However, it did not affect bars and restaurants.
But then, there had been a debate about how the prohibition of alcohol would hurt tourism industry of Bali that is a Hindu-majority island.