Campaign group Tourism Concern has slammed First Choice’s decision to sell only all-inclusive holidays from next year, branding such resorts “all exclusives”.
But Tourism Concern director Tricia Barnett said: “It isn’t just First Choice. Thomas Cook has 135 all-inclusive properties in its Turkey brochure alone.”
Barnett, a trustee of industry charity The Travel Foundation, said: “The choices in Turkey are diminishing rapidly. Local hotel associations tell me the companies demand all-inclusives. It denies local people any benefit from tourism.”
Tui Travel UK board member and director of communications Christian Cull insisted: “It is a myth to suggest people do not go out of the hotel just because they are on an all-inclusive holiday.”
However, Barnett told Travel Weekly: “People staying in all-inclusive resorts won’t go out and eat local food. There is no incentive for them to go out.”
She added: “It is sad, because there was a time when Tourism Concern was able to say First Choice was in the vanguard of sustainable tourism. Now we must recognise that since First Choice became part of Tui Travel it is comfortable with words not actions.”
Announcing the all-inclusive move on Friday, Tui Travel pointed out the all-inclusive market had grown 32% over five years.
Managing director John Lundgren said: “All inclusive is becoming the holiday of choice for many British consumers, offering great value for money. . . Nearly two-thirds say they would relax more on an all-inclusive holiday.”
Cull argued: “We have been working closely with hoteliers to make all hotels in our programme more sustainable, supporting the local economy by encouraging them to work with suppliers local to the hotel and employing local people under fairer working conditions. All-inclusives achieve better occupancy and are more in demand.”
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