Indonesia alcohol bill could wreck Bali tourism
Local businesses and organisations are outraged.
A bill banning the production, distribution and consumption of alcohol in Indonesia may wipe out the nation's tourism industry if passed, according to a local hotel association.
Local tourism businesses and organisations, including the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), denounced the introduction of a nationwide bill to prohibit the sale and purchase of alcohol in the South-East Asian nation.
The bill was brought about by two of the country's prominent Islamist political groups, the United Development Party (PPP) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
"If the bill is passed, our business will be done," PHRI boss Hariyadi Sukamdani told The Jakarta Post.
At the beginning of last year, Indonesia's former trade minister Rachmat Gobel introduced regulations to stop the supply and sale of alcoholic beverages by Indonesian minimarts. The ban came into effect in April 2015.
These small retail chains were prohibited from selling liquor containing less than five percent alcohol, such as beer and low-alcohol wine.
However, five months later, the ministry, under new leadership, relaxed the policy and handed the rights to control alcohol production, distribution and sales to regional administrations.
Hariyadi said the regulations had negatively impacted business and that many foreign tourists were still complaining about the difficulties of buying alcoholic beverages.
"No matter how beautiful the country is, if they can't find alcohol, they won't want to come here," he said.
Travel and tourism generates around 10% of Indonesia's total gross domestic product (GDP), according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.
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