All-inclusive resorts may be being unfairly singled out for damaging local economies, according to new research from the Travel Foundation.
The survey by the sustainable travel charity suggested that a number of other factors, including tourists’ attitudes, budgets and knowledge of a destination, were as influential as their choice of hotel.
The results of the study were released as the Travel Foundation confirmed that its annual Make Holidays Greener week would this year be extended to a full month in July.
Sue Hurdle, chief executive, said: “This research shows it’s too simple to blame all-inclusives for economic damage. The challenge is to look at tourism more broadly.”
The report, which was carried out in Tenerife, identified eight types of tourists, including ‘eating’s cheating’ people, who spend money only in bars, and ‘budget families’, who spend only on souvenirs.
Hurdle said that even customers who choose to spend the majority of their time in their hotel could have a sustainable holiday.
“It’s about getting local produce into hotels and getting locally-made products sold in the hotel gift shop.”
Hurdle said agents had a vital part to play in encouraging customers to experience the destination, adding: “Agents are brilliantly positioned to raise awareness about these issues.”
She also encouraged agents to support the Make Holidays Greener month. The campaign’s focus this year is to challenge consumers to do one thing when they next go on holiday that will help benefit local people and protect the environment.
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