Going All-inclusive This Summer?

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If so, will you stay confined to the hotel with everything you need for a sun drenched break in easy reach? Or will you splash the cash in the local surrounds, offering a welcome boost to its economy?

TUI has had to defend claims this week that the all-inclusive option is doing irreversible harm to local economies in some of its major destinations including Greece, Turkey and the Canaries.  The argument is that if customers are booking all-inclusive holidays then they will not venture outside of their hotel and see what is on offer in the local resort town.  This, in turn, has a knock-on effect on the local economies of destinations heavily reliant on a regular influx of tourists. Paphos in Cyprus, for example, is reported to have seen the closure of some 150 restaurants last year.

Defending the claims, TUI's UK boss said “There are a lot of misconceptions about all-inclusive not contributing as much to the local economy. That’s not totally correct.” TUI is working closely with interested parties, regional development and tourism agencies to ensure any measurable impact in minimised.  One of the problems, however, is that local tourist boards only measure the number of passenger arrivals without considering whether they will actually go on to spend outside of their destination hotel.  The rise in popularity of all-inclusive holidays was in part influenced by the recession and consumers looking for certainty in the cost of their annual holiday at the time of booking.

If the restaurant or local bar trade suffers in resorts where the UK's biggest tour operator's presence is strongest then those affected may have no option but to embrace the new trend in tourism.  There is always a market for the provision of local excursions and as the tour operator branded exclusive hotels grow in size, so too should the job opportunities.

For my part, travelling abroad is all about sampling the delights of the local area, including its restaurants, bars and other attractions.  That is reason alone for me to avoid booking an all-inclusive holiday and step down off the plane with a pocket full of hard earned cash ready to enjoy in whatever way I please.     

Chris Deacon
Solicitor - Claims Abroad team

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