A hotel association has warned the government and the legislative body that Indonesian tourism will “collapse” should the House of Representatives pass a bill prohibiting alcohol in the country.
The bill, introduced by the United Development Party (PPP) and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), both Islamist parties, does not take into account voices from players in the tourist sector.
Despite the uproar from business people in the tourist sector, like the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), the House has continued with the bill’s deliberation.
"If the bill is passed, our business will be done. The tourists, who mostly come from Europe, drink alcohol all the time. It will be very inconvenient for them if they can't find alcohol," PHRI head Hariyadi Sukamdani told thejakartapost.com on Wednesday.
If passed, the law will be the first to impose a full nationwide ban on the production, distribution and consumption of drinks with an alcoholic content of 1 to 55 percent.
Hariyadi said even with a recent regulation on the distribution of alcohol issued by Rachmat Gobel, the former trade minister, business had suffered negative impacts. Many foreign tourists complained about the difficulty of finding alcoholic drinks.
"No matter how beautiful the country is, if they can't find alcohol, they won't want to come here," Hariyadi said. (Jakarta Post)