All-inclusive in action

All-inclusive in action

I’ve written about all-inclusive resorts before in this column but my concerns around how they impact communities was on my mind last week when I was sat on the beach in Rhodes (tough life, eh?).

Resort facilities have grown significantly in the last 20 years with it now commonplace to find a hotel that has a water park, watersports, a spa and/or sports facilities. These options are great as customers look for value for money, particularly for families when the kids can be difficult to entertain. I do not knock the resorts or operators at all because the activities available are fantastic and with life so busy it’s great to be able to relax and know all is a short walk away.

Yet this mentality also made me think about the communities outside the resort. If travellers come over and just stay put, their money will stay in the UK company’s pocket and nowhere else. While this helps our economy, it does nothing for other countries and this was all the more apparent as I was sat in Greece. We were a group that ventured into the town of Kolymbia for a night and some braved Faliraki, plus we also took excursions to Rhodes Old Town and Lindos. But if drinks are included in your hotel and excursions are so crammed that you do not get time to sit for lunch or shop, then there appears to be issues.

Yes, more Brits are holidaying in Greece but the communities will not benefit if they stay in resort. In Rhodes and Lindos the shops, bars and restaurants are begging for custom, offering freebies and asking all that pass if they want to come in. It shows signs of a country that is welcoming but also hints at desperation in areas that are heavily reliant on foreign tourists.

Despite these concerns though I think it is unlikely this will change the travelling habits of Brits. With spend so tight we will travel to where we are getting the most of our money and if that means that all the activity is contained, then some may argue why they would need any more. During my three day in Rhodes I would have had itchy feet but agents on the trip said clients would be happy to not move from a sun lounger.

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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