Debate gets hot as hell
Picture from Tourism Concern who are running a campaign on all inclusives HERE:
Travel and tourism voices pile in to latest resurgence of the debate over all-inclusives.
Under new leadership, Tourism Concern recently hit on the all-inclusive situation. In its latest campaign "All Inclusives remain all exclusive" The practice called "the devil's" work by leading travel writer Simon Calder in the BBC website is finding it impossible to lose the negative label.
Blogged Catherine Mack last week: "The ‘pro’ argument for all inclusives is always that local people should be happy because they offer ‘employment’. At a recent conference on responsible tourism, when one international hotel chain which was boasting its ethical practices in the Caribbean, because it was now buying all its jam from an island producer, I challenged them: "Why stop at jam?" I suggested, "Surely there are so many other products you could source locally?" to which the response was, "Have you any idea what that would do to our profit margins? And anyway, we employ hundreds of people here every year, which is more than they had before we arrived." Full blog at: http://www.ethicaltraveller.co.uk/category/articles/
"The news that First Choice is to become 100% all-inclusive has recently divided the travel industry" said Justin Francis, founder of responsibletravel.com. He does not believe that all all-inclusives are inherently bad, despite what he describes as some ‘well-deserved negative press’ surrounding them. When done well such resorts can offer sustainable solutions for high density tourism. The problem is, not many are being ‘done well’.
According to Justin’s blog: "A local hotel worker in the Caribbean once told me that the jobs provided for the local community by all-inclusive hotels were "the best jobs we’ve ever had." Unfortunately, this is often far from the truth in the majority of cases. All-inclusive resorts have picked up some well-deserved bad press over the years for exploiting local labour and giving little back to communities in the way of economic benefits. They’ve often been viewed as an eye-sore on local environments and their self-contained nature has meant that any visitor with the slightest sense of curiosity for what lays behind those four walls has little chance of venturing out anyway. In fact, in recent years the all-inclusive has almost become synonymous with ‘irresponsibility’ - hence the recent debate." Full blog at: http://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/can-all-inclusives-be-sustainable
Vision on Sustainable Tourism is suggesting that an "All Inclusives Fair Trade Charter" drawn up on the lines of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/tourism/Pages/ResponsibleTourism.aspx may be considered. It could provide for:
50% minimum of food & beverage bought from local suppliers (30 miles radius perhaps?)
Rates of pay as per source market less published variable
Terms of staff employment as per source market
Human rights as per source market
Training for all staff
Community shop on all-inclusive premises
Excursions arranged with local community
Support for local charities & involvement of all inclusive clients
Advice and assistance for local people to address the all inclusive clients
List of staff (photos etc) and their backgrounds available to clients
And… annual/biannual meetings with local stakeholders so they can pitch and tender for roles, such as activity providers/excursion providers . Otherwise one gets to monopolise it - and the others don't get a look in unless they provide innovative competitive, market rate products.
The Tourism Society has now joined the fray organizing another debate: Who gets the benefits? Are all-inclusives really profitable and for whom? Can communities benefit? Are they environmentally friendly? Can they be sustainable by any stretch of the imagination? These and many more are the questions to be asked at this special event to discuss the effect of all inclusives on communities and tourists and the tourism industry in general.
Sponsored by TravelMole, the evening will discuss:
- PROCUREMENT - to manage the resort’s local economic footprint
- ENGAGEMENT - with the local community and with guests
- LOCAL EMPLOYMENT - good conditions for local people
- ESTABLISHMENT ENVIRONMENT - minimal environmental and energy impact
Join us and listen to the industry’s latest updates and examples of best practice.
Details at: http://www.tourismsociety.org/events/are_all_inclusives_good_or_bad
Your comments please!
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