All-Inclusive Spain

By | Category: Travel news

Because Spain has attracted so many British and Irish holidaymakers over the years, a small percentage dip in visitors hides a drop of tens of thousands. The decline has been going on for a few years yet Spain remains as the most important destination. To Spain, the decline is worrying despite the vast numbers who still travel there.
Why do fewer Brits and Irish visit and what can be done to attract them back again?
Competition from cheaper markets outside the eurozone like Turkey and Egypt are significant. So are those areas like some islands in the Caribbean and places like Gambia where all-inclusive holidays can be bought. The appeal of all inclusives is that you can budget pretty accurately. You know what is covered, what isn’t and can plan accordingly. That is one of the reasons that holidaymakers like them so much. It may explain some of the growth in cruising for that is similar to an all-inclusive product.
But destinations aren’t fond of them and one place I often found strong resistance to them expanding was in Spain. The reason is that if a holidaymaker stays at on a B&B rate or a half board, they will go out to restaurants, attractions and the markets. They will spend additional money which boosts the local economy. With an all-inclusive holiday, there is little reason to spend outside the confines of the holiday complex apart from maybe at attractions but even these can be paid as part of the package. Even just a few years ago in Marbella I had tourism officials saying that all-inclusives were not the way forward.
Now, in the light of the downturn, Spanish suppliers are packaging all-inclusives for the tour operators. And it is working. This year all-inclusive holidays to Spain are thought to be up over 10%. Even now there are still cheap all-inclusive deals left with tour operators for the Canaries and the Costas. Given that we are half way through August, it is a sign of how Spain – and the tour operators – are working hard to encourage us to return there.
In the good times, Spain was unconcerned about all-inclusives. In the less good they are aggressively taking on their competitors. And the British and Irish travellers are benefitting.

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