All-Inclusive Holidays: Unpacked

This summer is being hailed as the first fully open holiday season since the start of the pandemic, and there’s already been an increase in bookings compared to last year. With industry experts reporting a sharp rise in the cost of holidays, most of us will be thinking: how can I get the best possible deals? Ginny Buckley investigates if an all-inclusive holiday could be the way to go.

The mayor of Barcelona has introduced restrictions aimed at limiting the annual influx of tourists, with similar measures being considered in Lanzarote, Amsterdam and other destinations. And experts say it’s the Brits in particular that are less welcome than they were. 

The region in Mallorca that includes the once notorious party destination Magaluf has introduced measures that take aim specifically at all-inclusives. We met Javier Pascuet, the Director General of Tourism of the Balearic Islands. He explains that the new rules mean that tourists will face a six drink limit when visiting an all-inclusive in Magaluf, with alcohol limited to three drinks with each meal. 

59% of UK holidaymakers now say sustainability is an important factor for them in choosing a holiday. But for many, so called ‘over tourism’ in places like Tenerife are fundamentally unsustainable, something which some say all inclusive holidays contribute to.

We meet Ignacio and his partner Sharon, who run a local education and research company called Geotenerife. They are highlighting their concerns of a new development being built on the Cuna del Alma. They claim that the development will cause chaos and destroy the local community that live in the area currently. The couple also claim that the developers are planning to completely cover up the natural beach with imported sand and all the vegetation that's under the sea that feeds the cetaceans that live further out to sea are going to get covered. 

The Cuna del Alma development told us that the project would be built with respect for the environment and integration with the landscape. They told us that the new development will result in 750 jobs, and that the sand required to recover the beach will be entirely natural. They said the area on which the development will be built is not protected.  

But, whilst many share these concerns about the impacts of mass tourism in the canary islands, most businesses here rely on tourists for their survival. Joel runs a comedy drag dinner show catering to British holidaymakers, and he says that tourism is absolutely essential for the economic life of the islands.

Joel says that for businesses like his, all-inclusives can be complimentary. He argues that since shows like his attract people out of hotels, they also give a boost to other local businesses.

So, if you’ve weighed up all the pros and cons and are one of the reported 29% of Brits planning to take an all inclusive break this year, take the time to make sure you really are getting the very best value for money. 

Useful links

  • Head to Which to get the best travel tips and tricks

  • For the best package holiday need-to-knows visit Money Saving Expert

  • If you feel like your holiday didn’t go to plan get in touch with ABTA to register your complaint 

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