Sales are up 50% in the last three years, and with the deals we’ve been seeing, we can understand why
Recent figures from Tourism Concern show there has been a 50% rise in all-inclusive holiday sales over the past three years, a sure sign of the British public’s continuing love affair with the fully catered getaway. Sales have been on the up since the start of the recession in late 2008 and now account for over a third of the UK holiday market.
In the current economic climate, the appeal of all-inclusive is obvious: you pay for a package and don’t have to worry about how pricey the menu options are, or how much your bank will charge you for withdrawing cash overseas.
That’s particularly good news for cash-strapped families watching their pennies. Deals like this Dubai 5-nighter even offer free stays for up to two children aged 12 and under. With offers like that floating around at a time when people are so worried about the economy, it’s not hard to see why all-inclusive has become such a popular option.
Hardly surprising then, that First Choice, one of the UK’s biggest tour operators, made the decision last year to switch all of its holidays from 2012 onwards exclusively to all-inclusive. It was big news in the travel industry, especially since this was the first move of its kind by one of the big operators.
"All inclusive is becoming the holiday of choice for many British consumers,” said Johan Lundgren, UK & Ireland managing director of TUI (First Choice’s parent company). "People can leave their wallets at home and relax."
Many operators even go as far as throwing in extras on top of the all-inclusive board. Take this St Lucia escape for £1069 -- in addition to the usual inclusions, guests also get a room upgrade, a spa treatment and bottle of sparkling wine on arrival.
Of course, we appreciate that all-inclusive holidays aren’t for everyone. If you’re the type who likes to get out and about to sample the local cuisine and see life beyond the hotel gates, you might be better off packaging your own trip.
Some destinations simply demand that you do just that. For example, Croatia is a favourite among Travelzoo staffers, but a trip there wouldn’t be complete without the option of sampling a different waterside cafe, bar or restaurant each day. Take advantage of this deal for Split’s Radisson Blue Resort and you can find out for yourself.
And then there’s the issue of flexibility. For some families, the idea of conforming to regulated mealtimes is simply not an option; they’d far rather be able to cook when they want, make as much mess as they want and control their own budget. For those people, an apartment rental like this one in France is the perfect way to go.