Tax and tariffs can push up the cost of alcohol by over 400%, hitting prices of wine, whiskey and beer sold at hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. Retailer profits and a complex liquor distribution chain make prices even steeper.
Bali Discovery Tours president John Daniels told a tourism conference on the island last weekend that even a glass of beer was becoming so expensive that many foreign guests were “questioning the price of alcoholic beverages”.
The Jakarta Post quoted Daniels saying that drinks were much pricier than in Singapore or other foreign countries. He asked the government to cut taxes on alcoholic drinks sold in Bali to support tourism and show solidarity with visitors from overseas and the travel agents who send them to Bali.
Chairman of the Bali chapter of the Society of Indonesian Professional Convention Organisers (SIPCO), Putu Juarez, suggested that hotels, restaurants and convention organisers inform their clients in advance of the price of food and beverages, including liquor.
Head of the Denpasar chapter of the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association (PHRI), Ida Bagus Gede Sidharta Putra, said the price of alcoholic drinks in Bali was higher than in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.
The Jakarta Post quoted Putra as commenting that Indonesia applied “very tight distribution rules, as well as quotas limiting imports of liquor. Taxation and fees are other problems in procuring the beverages”.
Head of internal trade affairs at the Bali Industry and Trade office, Ida Bagus Ardana, said 60 registered distributors and sub-distributors of liquor worked in Bali. His office distributes the official tax stamps that make alcoholic drinks legal for sale.
Bali needs an estimated 60 million bottles of alcoholic drinks a year, he said, adding that as well as tax, complicated distribution chains push up prices.
Wine importer Alit Surya told the conference than most imported wines were consumed in Jakarta and Bali, selling between IDR285,000 (about AUD28.80) and “millions of rupiah per bottle, depending on its quality”.
Written by : Peter Needham