Attempting to forbid sinful activities, such as drinking, harms the growth of tourism in Muslim areas.
Luthfi Assyaukanie mentions the success of Hindu dominated Bali in developing a thriving tourist industry, and compares it with the lack of such success of the Muslim dominated Ternate and Tidore islands in North Maluku, and also Lombok, both places being able to lay claim to having many of the tropical charms that normally would see sun-seeking foreigners with too much spare time on their hands beating a path to their doors, bringing along with them lots of money.
Not only beachside attractions distinguish Lombok and Ternate-Tidore but they are also places full of history. Interestingly, Lombok, like Bali, was once an important centre of Hindu learning and culture. While Bali held on to its Hindu heritage, and thrived, Lombok abandoned it in favour of Islam, and did not prosper, in terms of the travel industry at any rate.
Ternate and Tidore, in the Moluccas, near the island of Halmahera, have not succeeded at all in the tourism area, says Luthfi, while Lombok's limited success can be put down to its proximity to Bali - it has merely taken the "overflow" from the Island of the Gods and cannot take any credit for having done so.
Foreign tourists like to drink alcohol, says Luthfi. But on the little islands of Ternate and Tidore there are few places, if any, where degenerate westerners can indulge their weakness for the demon drink, or get "hammered", in colloquial terms. Luthfi met with some people on the islands, people who all said, when asked, that they would welcome the development of a tourist industry. But, when asked about the existence of "cafes" or bars they said that such places as had existed had all been shut down by the local branch of the FPI (Front Pembela Islam). One person said:
There used to some [cafes and bars] but they were all torn down. Recently one has opened but they [the owners] are still afraid to operate.
(dulu ada, tapi semuanya sudah dihancurkan. Baru-baru ini ada satu kafe didirikan, tapi masih takut beroperasi.)
Luthfi, in Islam, Turisme, dan Toleransi, says the citizens of Ternate, Tidore, and Lombok, and other Muslim areas that would like to build a tourist industry, should learn from the tolerant attitude of the Balinese, that is, that in order to enjoy the benefits of tourism the various consequences have also to be accepted.