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.
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?