Prohibition of extramarital sex
That means the new law in Indonesia for tourists
Sex outside of marriage is forbidden in Indonesia. The country is home to popular holiday destinations such as the island of Bali. Soon only married tourists will be able to stay there together in the hotel?
Tourists in a hotel complex in Bali.
George NopperEditor News
The parliament in the island nation of Indonesia passed a new law on Tuesday. Anyone who has sex before marriage or cheats outside of marriage can be sentenced to up to a year in prison. But the law doesn’t just ban sex among unmarried people. It also prohibits couples from living together before marriage.
Indonesia is the country with the largest share of the Muslim world population. At the same time, there are some popular tourist destinations such as Bali, Java or Sumatra in the island kingdom. The Swiss travel providers have therefore already given some thought to the possible consequences for tourism. “It will be our job to educate customers about this,” says Hotelplan spokeswoman Bianca Gähweiler to Blick.
Introduction only in 2025
Will unmarried tourists in Bali still be able to stay in a hotel room together? So far, the ban on sex outside of marriage has not caused Swiss customers any concerns. “The law should only be introduced in 2025,” says Gähweiler. “So far, our customers have not given it any thought, as most of them are not yet planning their holidays for 2025.”
Whether and to what extent the matter will affect tourism cannot yet be said by Gähweiler. “Not enough is known about how the law will ultimately be interpreted.”
Family member must file a complaint
Kuoni spokesman Markus Flick regrets Indonesia’s step backwards from a liberal point of view. But he remains calm about any consequences for business: “We do not expect any effects on tourism. The law is designed in such a way that a family member must file a complaint for the authorities to take action,” explains Flick. “Tourists will not be affected. Privacy – in hotel rooms, for example – is also protected by law in Indonesia.”
Indonesia is strongly influenced by conservative Islam. However, Islam is not the state religion. So far, extramarital sex and homosexual relationships have not been considered criminal offenses in Indonesia, but both are considered taboo. An exception is the province of Aceh in the northwest of the island of Sumatra. The Islamic legal system of Sharia applies there. There is a penalty of up to 100 lashes for sex outside of marriage.