Stab Magazine | Is Bali Really Going To Ban Alcohol?

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Is Bali Really Going To Ban Alcohol?


news // Aug 17, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: < 1 minutes

A new law has been tacked to the ideas wall in Bali, and let us hope it doesn’t stick. The country’s House of Representatives is considering an alcohol ban, and that is unsavoury news. Bali is to Oz what Mexico is to California – you go there for a handful of reasons: The surf’s better, everything is cheaper, the vibes are high and the escapism is plentiful. It’s a place where you can get arrested for smoking a joint, but legally purchase psychedelic milkshakes at shops sporting signs like, “Mega Maximum Radical Mushrooms – Your Return Trip To The Moon”.

But, with this impending prohibition set to take place, anyone with a stake in tourism and hospitality – rightfully so – is fuming.

“If the bill is passed, our business will be done,” Head of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association, Hariyadi Sukambdani, 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.”

Two Islamic political parties introduced the bill, the United Development Party, and the Prosperous Justice Party. It is currently under debate by Indonesia’s House of Representatives.

If the law is passed, it would be the first of its kind in Indonesia. The goal is to “protect citizens from the negative impacts of alcohol beverages,” by proposing a nationwide ban, which may include exemptions for travellers, customary activities and religious rituals.

“Foreigners like to have a drink when they are here,” says the Head of Bali’s tourism office, A.A Gede Yuniartha Putra. “This is going to seriously affect tourism.”

There’s few things better in surf travel than the first sip of a local beer after a full day in the water. Let’s hope Bintang is still on the menu post-Bukit shredding.


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