First Choice-owner Tui Travel has rejected claims that its move to sell only all-inclusive holidays from next year will cut UK tourist spending in destinations.

Tui Travel UK board member and director of communications Christian Cull said: “First Choice is already two-thirds all inclusive. It is a myth to suggest people do not go out of the hotel just because they are on an all-inclusive holiday.”

Tour operator First Choice announced it would go wholly all inclusive for summer 2012 on Friday., with Tui Travel UK managing director Johan Lundgren describing it as “a major milestone for the UK travel industry”.

Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent newspaper led criticism of the move, telling the BBC: “From every point of view, except perhaps holiday company shareholders, all-inclusive resorts are the devil’s work.”

There has been an explosion of all-inclusive resorts in the last five years, led by developments in Turkey. Most attract clients operating on a budget and seeking to fix their holiday costs in advance. Campaign group Tourism Concern has led criticism of all-inclusive in the past.

But Cull said: “We encourage people to go on local excursions and explore all a destination has to offer. We are doing a lot of work to increase communications with customers while on holiday encouraging them to use local services.”