Banning tourism is good for tourism, says Culture Ministry

Manama: The Ministry of Culture released a statement supporting the recent ban on the serving and selling of alcohol in 3-star hotels saying that the ban would encourage the hotels to improve other facets of their businesses.

“The income of these hotels mainly depend on facilities and not the rooms, which constitute only 23 per cent of their profits,” the statement said. “So we thought… hmm… how can we get them to improve quality of service? Take away their alcohol without regard to the vast economic consequences this could have on the nation’s economy.”

The hotels repeatedly ignored the ministry’s repeated requests to improve room quality and accommodation service, so banning alcohol – which makes up 77% of the hotels’ profits – was definitely the only option. Some critics suggested that raising prices and taxes on alcohol would be a better economic alternative but the Ministry said that “bans are cooler, though”.

“We also decided to ban exhibition of Arabian or foreign art and recruiting artists at these hotels, because that’s our thing and they can’t do that. These hotels can find some other way to make money,” a Culture Ministry spokesperson said.

If hotels are found violating the ban, legal action will be taken against offenders, which is a procedure that the Culture Ministry said will “benefit and enhance tourism in Bahrain by taking away one of the things that keeps tens of thousands of Saudis traveling across the border to Bahrain every weekend.”

“Instead, they can attend the numerous cultural events that the Ministry organizes weekly, most of which are for free and are not-for-profit.”

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