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All inclusive holidaying is a phenomenon which is rapidly expanding in the travel industry. Is it a good or bad trend? Travel operators say that customers want this concept, but isn’t it more about the operators getting their hands on money that would otherwise be spent in local bars and restaurants?

OK – all inclusive can be justified for: – Families with children, who don’t have to keep shelling out lots of money for ice creams, fizzy drinks and sweets every five minutes;  Those who just want to rest and for those not used to travelling, who really don’t dare venture outside of the hotel complex.

At the same time this is also devastating for local businesses in smaller destinations when the travel operators “steal” their customers and they have to close down. The Dominican Republic is a good (bad) example of this. And hand on your heart now travellers – is it really that fun seeing the same faces at dinner every evening? Go and find a cosy local pub amongst the alleys, with a genuine local atmosphere – then go on for a coffee or a night cap in a bar by the harbour – oh no you can’t –they’ve closed down...

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