What is so bad about an all inclusive holiday?
All inclusive holidays – we’ve all been there and they were probably really fun. Indulging until your heart’s content and waking up whenever you like with food and drink practically on your doorstep is what some might argue… paradise.
I’ve been on a few in my time and they’re wonderful. I have memories from when I was a kid, somewhere between the ages of 10-13 always filling up my plate with as much food as I could and then having a contest with my cousin to see who could eat the most plate-fulls. I think we tied in the end at a total of 4 each. What little vacuums we were!
The all inclusive hotel is great… For the tourist. You pay a lump sum, eat, drink, be entertained and you don’t have to worry about the hole in your bank account for when you return home. But have you ever thought about the employees who make your bed everyday, the bartenders, life guards, waiters and receptionists? Probably not and neither did I until not so long ago.
There is one particular memory that has lasted over the years. It was of this one employee who never seemed to have a day off during our entire 2 week stay. Furthermore, she seemed to always either be serving breakfast to me in the morning and then serving my parents drinks at the bar in the evening. That is at least a minimum of a 12 hour shift. …But 12 hour shifts, every day, for 2 weeks, with no day off?
In terms of working conditions, somewhere as profound a holiday destination as the Canary Islands has various reports of bad working environments. Many have reported barely earning a living wage, illegally kept on temporary contracts and non paid overtime.
Talk about external costs! It makes much more sense how these big hotel chains can afford to remain profitable considering the amount of labor involved to operate a giant resort.
Now that is something to be concerned about.
Ok, so just give the employees a day off and increase their wage?
Not quite, as the employees aren’t the only ones affected. The communities that surround the resort always suffer the worst because the ‘tourists’ if you can call them that, rarely venture outside the hotel to experience new bars, restaurants or excursions.
If they don’t venture outside, it has been known for communities to feel like a ghost town. All the bars and restaurants that were originally opened for tourists are lacking business because they are over shadowed by the giant resort a mile down the road.
But you can’t blame the tourists for feeling satisfied in the hotel. They’ve already pre-paid for their food and drink for their entire stay, so why spend any more?
What can I do?
Please, if you have been to an all inclusive resort or are planning to go to one in the summer (2021), don’t be harsh on yourself. You are not to blame. These big chain companies can do so much more than they are doing to help the local communities.
For example, they can purchase their food from the local farmers instead of shipping in from elsewhere. They could link up with the surrounding bars and restaurants so the hotel guests can still have the privilege of eating and drinking for free, but outside the resort.
In terms of the workers, they could just increase their prices so there is more to spend on the labour force. Or, as the guest, never be afraid to leave a hefty tip once or twice during your stay.
Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head