The Indonesian government is set to debate introducing prohibition on alcohol across the country, including popular backpacking destination Bali.
The bill has been brought to the House of Representatives by two of Indonesia’s Islamist parties, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the United Development Party (PPP).
In response, the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) has warned that the proposed legislation has the potential to devastate Indonesia’s tourism industry.
Under the proposal, distribution and consumption of alcoholic drinks between one per cent and 55 per cent would be banned.
“If the bill is passed, our business will be done,” PHRI head Hariyadi Sukamdani told the Jakarta Post. “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.”
Most affected would be Bali, a huge gap year destination known largely for its party atmosphere. Despite the incredible natural beauty of the island, the ban could serve to put backpackers off making the journey.
“No matter how beautiful the country is, if they can’t find alcohol, they won’t want to come here,” said Hariyadi.
There is some precedent for such legislation in Indonesia; in 2015 small retailers were banned from selling beer and pre-mixed drinks, limiting their sales to large supermarkets only.
Some 10 million tourists visited Indonesia in 2015.