All Inclusive holidays – good for tourists, not so good for local communities

ai-reportA survey of over 1700 holidaymakers found that the majority believe that the shift towards all-inclusive holidays is a negative development. However most people thought that tourists benefit from all-inclusive holidays, but equally that local communities were worse off. 

The full report is now available to download from the Members Area

Our new report, The perceived impacts of all-inclusive package holidays on host destinations – A Consumer Survey will be launched at our Annual Meeting on Saturday 7th February. The report will be free to download from the Members Area from the beginning of February. If you are not a Member you can join online today. 

The report presents the findings of our recent survey of over 1700 holidaymakers into the perceived impacts of all-inclusive package holidays. It is the latest publication relating to our ongoing critique of the all-inclusive model, and follows last years report: ‘The impacts of all-inclusive hotels on working conditions and labour rights’, and the 2012 briefing: ‘All-inclusive holidays – excluding local people in tourist destinations’.

The survey was carried out between 2012 and 2014 via an online market research platform with a membership of over 500,000 holidaymakers. Almost 1,750 responses were received and almost 70% had been on an all inclusive holiday – the key findings were:

  • 55% of survey participants believe the shift towards all-inclusive holidays is a negative development. Nonetheless, 42% of the survey sample are likely to go on an all-inclusive holiday in the next two years.
  • Of those survey participants who have been on an all-inclusive holiday, 32.8% never left the resort to visit a local restaurant, and 34.47% never went on an excursion outside the resort.
  • Less than 20% of respondents who had been on an All Inclusive regularly left the resort to visit other bars, restaurants or excursions.
  • 87% of the sample believed that tourists benefit from all-inclusive holidays. At the same time, 65% responded that local communities are in some way made worse off by the establishment of all-inclusive resorts.

Tourism Concerns Mark Watson stated “It is clear from the survey results and the views of participants that, while there is continuing demand for the advantages that the all-inclusive model offers to some holiday makers, there is also an increasing awareness of the model’s negative impacts, even among those who enjoy the all-inclusive experience. And tellingly, there is evidence that these holidaymakers too want a fairer deal for local communities. This is something the industry must begin to take on board.”

More information:

  1. The all-inclusive share of the UK market grew by 25% between 2008 and 2013, a figure which, according to market research organisation Mintel, will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. There is clearly a significant market demand for all-inclusive holidays.
  2. Although at face-value the all-inclusive holiday may appear largely attractive to tourists, for over twenty years Tourism Concern has argued that there are also significant detrimental impacts which need addressing if it is to benefit hosts communities as well.
  3. All Inclusive campaign
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