Could a Ban on Alcohol Kill Tourism and All Inclusive Resorts?

Party on: Dubai scraps alcohol tax to boost tourism

Alcohol and guns are big business in the United States of America.
Guns are banned almost anywhere in the world, except in the US, the world champion nation in mass shootings. Alcoholics can be seen almost everywhere in the world, except in some Middle Eastern countries. In US cities the ever-climbing numbers of homeless people are almost all alcoholics. Families get destroyed every day. What about Alcohol in the travel and tourism industry? Is it trendy, addictive, or just seasonable?


When I traveled to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last year this eye-opening experience of witnessing young educated people having a lot of fun in hundreds of trendy coffee shops able to communicate. It was a refreshing and almost bizarre experience for me to see young men and women having fun – Saudi style.

When I saw hundreds of cars with young Saudis cruising the streets of Riyadh up and down to impress, no one had to be worried about drunk drivers.

I came to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia feeling sorry for people missing out on the drinking fun – I was proven wrong.

If Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Industry can prosper without Alcohol- do it!

When I left Saudi Arabia I suggested to a tourism ministry official. “If Saudi Arabia can afford it, please never allow alcohol to take over the hotels, and your society. It would be a big mistake, and destroying of a travel destination niche hardly any country can offer these days.”

In my 66 years, I witnessed not only friendships and families being destroyed at all levels of society due to alcohol – but also while on a trip.

The Ugly Side of Alcohol

Not only statistics and criminal records show the ugly side of alcohol in our American society.

Nightspots where a normal conversation between friends is impossible, but drinking until you drop is trendy. This is a clear fact not only in the United States but in many parts of the world.

Life can be more fun without beer

After my trip to Riyadh, I concluded that life can be more fun without beer, wine, or whiskey – and this was a good conclusion.

The United States of course will never ban alcohol, but why would any responsible health professional confirm Alcohol is healthy?

The liquor industry is big money, such as the gun industry. They have billions to be spent to convince consumers to buy beer, wine, and guns.

What about cigarettes?

A few decades ago smoking was the most normal and social activity to do – at home, in hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and even planes. Now billions of dollars in lawsuits, and ten thousand people dying of lung cancer later, the world never banned cigarettes but warnings and statistics changed the world of smokers.

Ok, there won’t be a ban, but a health recommendation?

Insiders think the U.S. Dietary Guidelines will soon confirm:

No amount of alcohol is acceptable for a healthy lifestyle.

The World Health Organization’s recent proclamation states that there is No level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health”

Sixty-two percent of Americans in July 2023 said they drank alcohol. This is up from 60% of Americans in 2021 but is down slightly from the trend high of 71% recorded in the 1970s.

When on vacation in resorts such as in Jamaica, Hawaii, Florida, or Thailand, hotel rates alone would not make tourism affordable and possible – it’s alcohol where resorts make the money.

Seeing it from a liquor business perspective magazine Formation concludes:

“Such statements are agenda-driven quackery that bears no resemblance to reality. However, the idea that the U.S. Government would take part in this biased, agenda-driven attempt to severely diminish the American beer, wine, and spirits industries is not just distressing, but consequential. The federal government releasing such a statement has the potential to kill off numerous small wineries, distillers, and brewers over a few years as younger Americans take this kind of statement to heart.”

Dr. Monica N. Feit, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Health and Medicine Division at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is also a member of the US Congress. The documents she requested were regarding the process for making alcohol recommendations in the forthcoming 2025 Dietary Guidelines. The members of Congress mentioned this in her letter.

“The Administration appears to be driving toward approving Dietary Guidelines that by default recommend that Americans consume no alcohol whatsoever, despite a continually evolving scientific debate about the risks and benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on individual health outcomes.”

A call is out for any member of the beer, wine, and spirits industry in the U.S. who is concerned about this kind of “irresponsible, industry-killing recommendation” that might emerge in the coming Dietary Guidelines next year, should get on the phone and call their congressman and senators.

Canada says two drinks a week are acceptable.

Opponents of this trend point out data that shows moderate consumption of at least wine can have positive effects on our health and our well-being. The idea confuses excessive consumption of alcohol with responsible consumption of alcohol.

Your hotel pool bar

I get it. Having lots of Margaritas, Blue Hawaiians, or Craft Beer sitting in a resort swimming pool is fun. Partying the night away and not remembering anything when waking up with a stranger is letting the tension go.

At least on vacation one can sleep in, and skip the champagne breakfast – but not everyone is so fortunate. At least there is coffee and bloody mary.


About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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