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All-inclusive holidays are one of the travel industry’s boom sectors, but agents need to be aware that ‘everything’ is not always what it seems, says Jane Archer

and especially families, veer towards holidays where they can map out their exact costs in advance. However, while all-inclusives are a


great option for clients on a budget, holidaymakers also need to be aware that there is no such thing as a standard all-inclusive resort. All include unlimited food and drink in

the price, although often the package is just for self-service meals and local drinks, and many also provide free entertainment and non-motorised watersports equipment like wind- surfers and canoes. However, to get a total all-inclusive package they need to trade up, for instance to AM Resorts’ Zoëtry and Dreams resorts or to Sandals, which has multi-dining venues, includes all watersports, offers free scuba diving, golf and weddings, and much more. Obviously these resorts cost more

upfront, but it makes more sense for clients to pay the extra rather than booking a budget all-inclusive and having to fork out locally for à la carte meals, better wine and a cocktail or two. It also makes sense for agents to sell

the more inclusive properties as the commission will be higher. Jake Goodenough, who works for

The Destination Lounge in Barnstaple, said a good agent can

60 April 2012 •

ll-inclusive resorts are in big demand during the current financial crisis as consumers,

educate clients that there are luxury all- inclusives such as Sandals that go above and beyond the usual standard all- inclusive concept. All-inclusive holidays now account for

37% of all UK package holidays, according to the Post Office – and to help agents steer clients to a hotel or resort that suits their needs, Hayes & Jarvis has relaunched a dedicated all- inclusive programme after a two-year break that spells out all the inclusions for each property. First Choice is now exclusively all- inclusive, Kuoni has a new microsite devoted to its all-inclusive resorts, while Vilu Reef Beach & Spa Resort in the Maldives is considering going all- inclusive in 2013 after almost 80% of UK clients took up this option in 2010, up from 60% the previous year. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa has a new all-inclusive option.

What’s New AM Resorts is opening the 495-room Secrets The Vine Cancun resort in August. It’s AM’s 21st property in Mexico and the 10th for its adult-only Secrets brand. Secrets Huatulco opened in December 2011. Beaches Resorts is waiving the

single supplement for one-parent families on holidays between May 1 and 24 and September 4 and October 31. Beaches and Sandals have also teamed up with PADI to offer a diving course

where participants learn more about marine life. The Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa is offering an all-inclusive package after a successful trial last year. It includes local transfers, drinks, dining, and free non-motorised watersports and internet. Virgin Holidays has added

Magdalena Grand Beach Resort to its 2012 all-inclusive collection. It’s Tobago’s first new hotel for 12 years and has three swimming pools, water sports and a PADI dive centre. Warwick International has opened

the 13-suite Balaji Palace Playa Grande in Playa Grande, on the north coast of Dominican Republic. Dubai might not be the first place to conjure thoughts of all-inclusive options but they are available, for example, in the luxury Jebel Ali International and Movenpick Hotel Ibn Battuta Gate, both through Virgin Holidays.


Director UK & Ireland Dominican Republic Tourist Board

“The all-inclusive experience continues to be a big selling feature for the Dominican Republic as it offers visitors four- to six- star luxury properties, many with butlers and award-winning restaurants, and at an extremely competitive price. “The island has not been too adversely


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