Tourism 'too important' to Bali to ban booze
For those that love nothing more than to head to Bali to relax by the pool with a Bintang, gird your loins.
Indonesia is considering a law that would see a blanket ban of drinks that contain more than 1 per cent alcohol – including their production, distribution and consumption – across the country.
It’s a move that could crush Bali’s tourism industry and see an increase in unregulated bootleg booze, putting lives at risk.
If passed, the law would be the first of its kind in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
President of the Indonesia Institute Ross Taylor said, however, there are already moves for Bali, Lombok and other tourist destinations to be exempt from any such law.
He said that while some provinces, such as those that control Bali, see banning alcohol as completely unacceptable, just across the water in East Java, the regional mayor took the view that alcohol is the scourge of society and therefore should be banned.
“Really it’s going to depend on where you go in Indonesia,” he told Radio 6PR.
Mr Taylor said it was the national parliament’s “prevailing view” that tourism was incredibly important to Indonesia, and questioned whether a blanket ban would really be, well, blanket.
“If you have this ban, does that also mean that you would ban it being served in the Hyatt hotel in Nusa Dua?”
It’s not the first time Indonesia has made moves to restrict the availability of alcohol. Its sale has been outlawed in mini marts since April 2015, despite cries from tourism and alcohol industries.
Operators have asked the government to consider tougher laws on the monitoring and sale of alcohol, rather than prohibition.
More than one million Australians visit Bali every year.