“All inclusive’ holidays have always been a polarising subject in the Balearic Islands and it’s now become a political hot potato after the Balearic Government in Palma announced plans to outlaw the serving of alcohol within the all-inclusive package.
‘All inclusive’ is a flat fee where you can eat and drink as much as you want on a daily basis for the duration of your holiday, it mainly appeals to those who want to manage their budgets, such as families.
The concept originated in long haul destinations such as the Caribbean with isolated hotels in remote places having to offer the service as there was limited food options within the area.
Hoteliers soon realised that having a captive audience was good for the balance sheet so rolled out the concept worldwide however it greatly affected surrounding businesses in European resorts where whole areas became ‘all inclusive’.
In the Balearics the anti-All Inclusive lobby has been around for years but nothing has ever been proposed on a political level until now.
As is usual in these fractious political times the announcement has been welcomed by some and berated by others. In the Balearic Government the opposition PP party has accused the socialist coalition of harming Balearic competitiveness saying “All-inclusive is not a problem, the problem is being created by the (Balearic) Government “.
PP deputy leader Miguel Jerez went on to say “To try to modify this situation by punishing all the hoteliers who choose to offer this regime is not only unfair, disproportionate and interventionist but is like killing flies with cannon fire”.
In Ibiza it has also led to a political crisis after the coalition island government asked for the White Isle to be excluded from the new law seemingly without approval from their governmental partners.
This led the ‘Guanyem’ party to issue an official statement asking the island government to refrain from announcements until the subject has been debated in chambers.
The left wing Guanyem are strongly in favour of this initiative and have been highly critical of Ibiza’s tourist minister Vicent Torres Benet’s stance saying “we consider that the practice of All-inclusive constitutes an attack against the interests of the local economy, of small commerce and of the working class in general”.
Miquel Vericad the Guanyem leader in Ibiza went on to denounce this type of tourism for linking alcohol consumption to family holidays “where children can watch their parents drink without control”.
Vicent Torres Benet explained that “this regulation is out of place in Ibiza because All-inclusive is a minority on the island and is focused on family tourism and, therefore, it does not generate any problems”. According to Torres its application would greatly harm family tourism on the island although he acknowledged that “Mallorca does suffer from this problem”.