The recent notice by the Samoa Liquor Board (S.L.B.) stating that there will be a ban on alcohol sales from Wednesday midnight to Saturday morning has raised many eyebrows especially since hotels and restaurants are not exempt.
Adele Kruse, the president of the Samoa Hotel Association (S.H.A) was surprised to learn of the ban after complaints were brought to the Association.
“This news came as a shock to me because I never got a chance to see it on T.V. but we received many complaints,” Ms. Kruse said.
Ms. Kruse and her Association’s main concern is with the visiting tourists.
“It’s not really the locals we are concerned, about but our guests” Ms. Kruse said.
“It will be very hard for us to deny them this service.”
This is seen as an issue for hotels because it may disappoint many tourists and could ultimately result in Samoa tourism receiving a bad reputation.
This is a big kick in the shins for the tourism industry.
“From S.H.A.’s point of view this is not good for our industry to ban the sale of alcohol to our visitors” Ms. Kruse said.
“These are people who have planned for many years to have a beautiful vacation in the Pacific and their hard-earned money was used to make it possible.”
“When they come here, they would like to enjoy the simple pleasures of life for example a glass of wine with their meals,” Ms. Kruse claimed.
This alcohol ban will also cause trouble with the few guests who don’t take the news too well.
“The denial of wine with a meal or even a glass of beer on a hot day would not be good,” Ms Kruse said.
“Trust me this will not be received well by them.”
Another reason this ban doesn’t make sense, is that the guests have never caused any trouble concerning alcohol.
“We have never had to deny any one of our guests alcohol due to drunkenness,” Ms. Kruse said.
“This is because these people are mostly here on vacation and they are here to enjoy themselves.”
Other than her concerns for the visitors, Ms. Kruse said she understands why such regulations would be applicable for the general public.
“Unfortunately there are some local people who abuse alcohol which is why the ban has been put in place” Ms. Kruse said.
“It’s important that when we do things to help our local people for example this ban, we should not lose focus.”
“We deal with our local people on a local scale but when we come to our visitors, then we need to make sure our services are open to them,” Ms. Kruse said.
Ms. Kruse sees the election as a celebration but rules are rules and they should be followed
“The elections do have to be celebrated and with respect to how the S.L.B and the government feels our local people need to be protected, we need to abide by their rules,” Ms. Kruse said.
“If they have instituted such a regulation during this time, then we have to follow through.”
But following Ms. Kruse’s concern for the visitors. she strongly believes that the S.L.B. must reconsider the ban for hotels.
According Ms. Kruse, she believes the ban will not stop people from drinking even if the sale of alcohol is bought to a halt.
Samoa Observer has not been able to contact the S.L.B. for comments and the case is the same for Ms. Kruse.
“We have not been able to get through to the S.L.B. ourselves to get confirmation of this situation,” Ms. Kruse said.
“I can only say that this is not good for the hotel industry.”