The administration of North Maluku’s Tidore island and its surrounding archipelago has declared the district a nightclub-free zone, saying it will rely on other sources of revenue better suited to the region’s traditional values.
The head of Tidore’s Culture and Tourism Agency, Asrul Sani, said on Tuesday that Tidore would instead prioritize the development of marine tourism, among other things, to boost its income.
“Tidore’s cultural values do not tolerate nightclub businesses. Thus the city administration has declared that Tidore is shut off to such businesses,” Asrul said.
He said there had been no objections to the new policy, adding that local businesses actually supported it. Asrul further said that although nightclubs had substantial potential to contribute to regional revenues and reduce unemployment, both the Tidore administration and its people thought there were many other sources of income that could instead be tapped.
He added that Tidore would also maintain its policy banning the sale of liquor in observance of the islands’ Islamic followers, who are forbidden from consuming alcohol.
Tidore Islands, an archipelagic district of North Maluku famous for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters, is home to some 98,000 people, the majority of whom are Muslims.
Asrul said aside from its beaches, Tidore offered tourists a palace from the past kingdom of Tidore and old fortresses left by Spanish colonials, which date back several centuries. There is also an annual Tidore cultural festival held every April.
He added that Tidore would promote itself through active participation in tourism and photo exhibitions in Jakarta and other sites outside the capital.