When inclusive holidays exclude the locals

“How’s business?” we asked the local taverna owner as we ordered our tzatsiki.

“Terrible. I’m closing up the end of June. It’s over for me. I’ve paid my taxes but no one protects me. The inclusive resorts have killed my business. We are a small town surrounded by three resorts. Few tourists come any more…”

Dinner was then a bit awkward. We’d come to Greece to support the local economy in times of financial crisis. We knew it was bad – but not this bad. We thought we’d better have a three courser, despite just popping in for a starter.

We’d looked around the town. Several restaurants had closed down. Empty beach fronts now stood where tavernas had once served crowds.

Moon rise on Greek island of Crete

Moon rise: Let’s hope the sun isn’t setting on local economies in Greece

We enquired about hiring a car. “Cash is preferred. We can do a discount.” I’d read that the Greek economy was now a cash economy – but I was not totally prepared. I hoped a bank was still operating and that it also had not closed down.

Back at our hotel (not an all-inclusive), a waiter told us: “I don’t know why people go on holiday and not leave their hotel. What do they see? A pool? The sea? They don’t see the country. They don’t see the sites. What do they say when they go home? I saw a nice pool?”

He was upset to hear a local restaurant may be closing. “It’s a chain,” he said. “I am a local. I earn here and spend in the town. The inclusives are bad for local business.”

So as it’s holiday season, I was wondering what do you do on holiday? And if you are booking an all-inclusive, take some time out, drag yourself away from the pool and support the local economy. Their country needs you!

Let me know what you do on your holiday. Are you a pool-side sunbed lounger? Do you support local economies? Do you see the sites? Or are the only things you take pictures of the cocktails on the bar? 

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June 27, 2013. Tags: , , , . Blogging, Comedy writing, Humour, travel, Writing.

16 Comments

  1. The Laughing Housewife replied:

    Staycations, except for two wet five-day camping holidays.

  2. Colonialist replied:

    It seems so silly how many people travel a long way and pay lots of money to do what they could have done at home.

  3. Hanne B replied:

    Trust me if I take you camping you will love it!

  4. Karen Watson replied:

    The trouble is, so many travel companies only offer all-inclusive holidays now. We used to do B&B before we had the kids, so we could try local restaurants, but now it’s so much easier (and works out cheaper in the long run) to know how much the whole thing is going to cost us. The kids also like the fact they can get drinks/food whenever they like without having to ask permission. But it is tragic that the all-inclusives are killing off whole resorts.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I think I like the idea of getting food and drinks whenever you like…Hello WeightWatchers when I get back…

  5. Patricia Caviglia replied:

    If I go for an all-inclusive, it’s to rest. Depending on the country, I might play tourist for a bit, but it’s not what I came for. Usually, I like to be a tourist and travel somewhere to discover it. This summer, it’s Western Canada for us.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      A rest is great. Western Canada sounds fab – we were in Vancouver last year. It was great fun despite having to buy raincoats…

  6. Melody Clark Couture replied:

    I have used all-inclusives; in a country like Jamaica or Dominican Republic where it’s dodgy to wander out into the local area, it’s handy to know that one is safe and unlikely to be robbed, snatched, beaten up etc. (I kid you not) That doesn’t mean that we won’t venture out under the guidance of the hotel taxi driver etc. However, somewhere like Greece is different, there is no reason to feel the security of an all-inclusive and the locals just love it when you venture into their villages, and it does make the holiday all the richer for that experience.

    We do camp, quite a bit actually. It’s great and I love it, even the rain can’t put me off, and listening to the rain falling on the ‘canvas’ at night when snuggled up in one’s four season sleeping bag is just wonderful.. We bought a huge six berth tent a few years ago, and I have to say that being able to stand up in the tent makes all the difference.

    Happy holidays everyone, I recommend the Gambia by the way, brilliant weather, very friendly locals (if rather too persistant) and great food to be had.

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      I understand about Jamaica – but then I’ve also wondered why tourists would want to go on holiday to a place that has a high crime rate. Not exactly relaxing! Camping and Gambia sound great tho!

  7. on thehomefrontandbeyond replied:

    an insightful post–makes me think about what a vacation should be–not seeing the country you are visiting is just a crime

    • WomanBitesDog replied:

      Thank you! I dont’t know why people wouldn’t want to see the place they’d travelled to!

  8. jmmcdowell replied:

    We’ve always gone to local restaurants and shops, both on and off the tourist-beaten tracks. I’ve never understood the point of going someplace different and not seeing the true local side of life. It looks like the all-inclusives are the Wal-Mart of the vacation business.

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