UK Tui Travel boss Dave Burling has defended the development of all inclusive resorts saying there are some misconceptions of the impact they have on the destinations they are located in.
Tui came in for criticism from some quarters last year, including from Tourism Concern, after it decided to turn its First Choice tour operation into an exclusively all-inclusive specialist.
However, Tui UK and Ireland managing director Burling told the WTM Vision conference in London this week: “There are a lot of misconceptions about all-inclusive not contributing as much to the local economy. That’s not totally correct.”
Burling said Tui has been doing work with the Overseas Development Institute to understand the different impact of all-inclusive on destinations.
He said the operator was aware of the concerns that have been voiced and that it would do more research but claimed all-inclusive did not necessarily mean less employment for the local community, just different types of employment.
He added another misperception is that customers do not go on locally run excursions when on an all-inclusive trip, however, he said evidence shows they will go on different sorts of excursions, specifically ones that do not include a meal.
And he said the value for money all-inclusive offers the consumer means that many do actually opt to regularly go out of the resort while on holiday as well as enjoying the hospitality of the resort.
Burling said the local economies around resorts have been constantly evolving and will continue to do so despite the existence of all-inclusive. “If it plays a role it may be exaggerated,” he said.
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