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All-inclusive package holidays

The negative impact of tourism’s popular choice

For anyone booking an all-inclusive holiday, getting travel, accommodation, food and drink together in one package seems like a great deal. Unfortunately, their trip is often at the expense of those working in the tourism industry and the communities in the popular tourist destinations.

It also has an environmental impact. This is mainly due to the impact on climate change, the amount of water used by resorts and the resulting sewage that often ends up in waterways or pumped out to sea.

The challenges faced by those working in the package holiday industry

Hotel work is often lowpaid and disruptive to home life, but workers in all-inclusive resorts are even worse off. They get:

  • short-term contracts with few benefits and less job security
  • longer days, with guests who don’t leave the hotel or resort
  • unpaid overtime
  • fewer tips

How do package holidays affect the local community?

Package holidaymakers are encouraged to leave their wallets behind and pay for everything upfront. It means they don’t contribute to the local economy and small businesses suffer.

The relationship between host and visitor is further damaged when tourists are separated from the local community and workers suffer from low-paid and sporadic employment.

However, unions in Barbados have shown that, together, we can:

  • improve conditions for workers
  • create better social protection
  • improve training and professionalism in the sector
  • give workers in the sector better, more fulfilling jobs

 Find out more about the impact of all-inclusives

ITF is supporting a project led by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) to highlight the difficulties faced by workers in the all-inclusive industry and the industry’s effect on local communities.

You’ll find a report on the impact of all-inclusive hotels, produced by Tourism Concern and IUF, on the IUF website – it’s called The impacts of all-inclusive hotels on working conditions and labour rights in Barbados, Kenya & Tenerife.