How All-Inclusive Resorts Can Take Responsibility

Tourismconern held a survey in 2015 questioning all-inclusive vacation tourists. Holiday makers stated real concerns of big all-inclusive Hotel chains because of their bad influence on the communities surrounded. The survey clearly shows that tourists do care about the poor working terms and low salaries of Hotel employees too.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the global travel industry was growing in 2015 again by 4.4%. As the tourism business is growing year by year it should be logic, that the communities surrounded supposed to profit too. But unfortunately they don’t.

Let’s have a look at Jamaica, one of the favorite tourist choices in the Caribbean. Jamaica had a growth rate in tourism of almost 5% in 2015. According to the Jamaica Tourist Board, the hole industry was increasing their all-inclusive offers year by year. Tourism is booming around the island and travelers love all-inclusive vacation (see the statistics below).

But their is an other said of the medal. A short look at Jamaicas’ poverty ratio is showing a huge negative impact for the communities when it comes to all-inclusive vacations. The island of Jamaica is rich of tourism. It is the second largest economy on the island. But the poverty ratio is continuously growing too, which is a same.jamaica_allinclusive_growth_poverty

(include statistic picture)
Poverty ratio vs Tourism growth in Jamaica


The reasons of negative impacts caused by all-inclusive resorts

There are mainly two reasons which causes issues in the global tourism industry:

  • 1st Tax havens
  • 2nd Profit thinking but only in short term

Oxfam International, a leading charity fighting global poverty, just reported that Tax havens do cause global poverty. Their report, ‘An Economy for 1%’, is even calling for urgent action to tackle inequality crisis. Big Hotel chains, as for example in Jamaica and elsewhere, making profit but instead of paying local Tax, they transfer the hole profit to its headquarters, which is usually based in a low tax country like Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Switzerland or the Cayman Islands. As the report is showing, the off-shore strategy is harming local communities billions of dollars every year.

Problem number 2, the short term profit thinking, will be changed by consumers anyway. In a long term, consumers will have different options and different offers to choose. Sustainability is for sure a key in a long term strategy. But sustainable tourism has just started.


(include ugly hotel picture) (include poor people picture)
A well shielded all-inclusive resort in Jamaica The result of an increasing poverty ratio

Is their a sustainable all-inclusive resort?

Ecotourism is growing and many projects were already launched to implement sustainability in tourism. But the main issue so far was, that all those projects have focused on the so called “backpacker” segment. Why is this an “issue”? Well in an economical point of view it’s a fact that heap customers do not leave enough to develop a hole community.

Just last week, a complete new type of travel agency launched a crowd-funding campaign to revolutionize the all-inclusive business. It is a Swiss / Jamaican cooperative trying to fill exactly the need of five-star all-inclusive travelers and the local communities with a sustainable and responsible concept in Jamaica.

Tanicia Samms, co-founder of ALLinVillas – best all-inclusive resorts in private Villas stated at a press conference: “While leaders are talking about global issues at the WEF in Davos, we are doing something to tackle poverty”. The project got a cool concept behind, what they call all-inclusive PLUS. The PLUS stands for taking five-star guest out, show them around, let them eat in local restaurants, to support locals and local businesses, which makes all-inclusive not just sustainable but beneficial for communities too.

About Billy Joel