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Alcohol shortage hits Bali resorts

Published:  23 July, 2008

ASIA: (Reuters) Hotels and bars on Indonesia's resort island of Bali have been hit by an alcohol shortage due to an import problem, officials have said.

Bali's Denpasar Post newspaper reported that the shortages followed the discovery of an alcohol smuggling ring using falsified duty stamps.

"Our members are complaining of a shortage of wines and spirits over the past two months.

"Apparently there's a reorganisation at the customs department after the discovery of a smuggling ring," Gosana said, adding he was not clear if other parts of Indonesia were also affected.

He said some outlets on the resort island had been forced to close because of the shortage.

"It's an even bigger blow for hotels that offer all-inclusive packages. Their reputation is suffering," he said.

According to Government data, tourist arrivals in Bali rose 34% to 781,059 in the first half of 2007 from a year ago.

The island will host a number of major international meetings this year, including a key U.N. conference on climate change in December.