SUSTAINABLE CODE FOR ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
I recently prepared a list of the top 10 Global Trends which included the prediction that 'all inclusive resorts' were not sustainable. This is a prediction or an observation that comes from personally observing the changes in the markets, the new approach of the new generation and the concerns and actions of the resorts themselves. Specifically, this was the text in the Trends.
A very good friend for whom I have a lot of respect and who has enormous experience in this area took issue with my point and, as a result, I started to think of ways in which these 'cultural bubbles' could in fact reverse the impression that many are not truly integrated with the community and that their guests are virtually captive within these compounds.
From this challenge came the idea for a 'sustainable code for all-inclusives' which should I believe, be developed by the operators, their employees together with leaders and members of their community.
This might entail the development of a 10 or 20 point plan to demonstrate that the local community is trul and openly included,
- All artists from this community have an opportunity to sell thair art and handicrafts in this hotel. Guests are invited to participate as Jury Members of the selection committee.
- All entertainment is created from this community. Auditions for new acts are held monthly. Guests are welcome!
- The local Mayor and his Council are invited regularly for a social opportunity to meet some guests and management.
- Guests can make arrangements to teach a class in kindergarten or school.
- Every year this hotel hires local residents without experience and teaches them a trade.
- By arrangement, some of our employees will volunteer to take you on a walking tour of their village.
- Local restaurants are sometimes included in this hotel's dine-around-plan.
- Every year this hotel sends one or more local employees to another one of our resorts for their first experience working away from home.
- All fruits, vegetables and fresh food items are grown and produced in the local community, when possible.The value each year is approximately $XX
- Most of the artwork in this resort are done by local artists and/or local children. The value is approximately $XX.
- etc etc
This is not a subject that has been ignored. In fact some small operators can learn from the big ones and there is more to be gained from sharing this information than hiding it. This is not a product that is peculiar to the Caribbean and Mexico, the concept has expanded everywhere.
Some good work and analysis has been done in this area and here is an example that is worth reviewing,
From this you can see that this is a subject which has been touched on before. Perhaps it needs a combined approach from the major operators who are active in this segment. It would be a great shame to see the term 'all-inclusive' gain the early reputation of 'timeshare' which took years to reverse. This is a great opportunity for this important and growing segment of the market to work together on an aggressive counter attack.
Perhaps my comment was a slight exageration, perhaps not. It is a subject that should be addressed and perhaps even fits well into the UNWTO's Tourism Satellite Account https://www.tourism-intelligence.com/case17.htm and Community Based Tourism. See https://www.tourism-intelligence.com/case03.htm
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