Recently I read an article about tourism and Jennie Dielemans’ book (or report) Welcome to Paradise. It’s gist is, all-inclusive holidays are the most harmful form of holidaying (although tourists spend time in an exotic country, 80% of income goes to head office in London; the locals work in low paid jobs; local people don’t have access to beaches etc.). Backpackers were also slated – for seeking out ‘undiscovered’ places and spoiling them with full moon parties, for having no respect for the natives.
We can make up for our hitherto ignorance by booking accommodation that is owned by the locals, eating in local restaurants and buying food supplies in local stores, and by not haggling till last penny when buying gifts.
What’s interesting, rights to Dielemans’ book have been sold to Estonia, Finland, Italy, Poland and Sweden but not to a British publisher. Perhaps British tourism industry, as well as its clientele, are not ready for it, yet? Well, I think if the travellers are conscious enough of certain issues to strive to offset the carbon emission of their journey or hotel stay – I think they are ready to ditch the all-inclusives, too. But is the tourism industry ready to take the hit? – that I’m not sure of.