Thousands of Australians visit the island paradise every year – it’s a beach holiday destination not far from here, it is extremely cheap and there’s plentiful booze. That could all be set to change if new laws come to pass in Indonesia.
Under a new bill in Indonesia, which is currently being discussed among major parties, the consumption of alcoholic beverages could lead to imprisonment. The bill seeks to ban the sale, production, distribution and consumption of all beverages containing more than 1 per cent of alcohol, according to the Jakarta Post.
While it’s not yet clear how much support there is for the bill in parliament, Indonesians are deeply religious – only 2.2 per cent of Indonesians over the age of 20 have consumed alcohol in the last years. Therefore this means the new bills would target tourists – which is the island province of Bali’s main industry.
And business is still booming Bali – despite the plans to execute Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, the amount of Australians visiting the popular holiday spot has risen by 16.7 per cent, reports the ABC.
The new bill to prohibit alcohol consumption could be backed by President Joko Widodo by the end of the year, says Indonesia Institute president Ross Taylor.
Mr Taylor said mini marts would be the initial focus of the alcohol ban, which would be broadened but not apply to certain locations to protect tourism, such as five-star hotels.
“My own view would be that common sense would prevail … but I’d be cautious in saying that because there are some of the more pronounced religious groups throughout Indonesia really gaining momentum now,” Mr Taylor told AAP.
So tell us today: have you visited Bali? Would you stop travelling there if alcohol was banned? Or is it more about the surroundings than the booze?