21.05.2012 - Travel

“All Inclusive” – quantity or quality?

Ukrainian tourists can no longer imagine that once the Turkish hotels were not so cheap, and most importantly there was no system of “all inclusive”. And while our citizens are going en masse to Turkey, it is not too happy to see the Ukrainians there. Tour operators offer more than modest food vouchers – those of you who loves to relax on the Aegean coast this summer can expect a maximum of “HB” (Half board), including breakfast and dinner. 

But tourists are reluctant to play by new rules, so now countries that had rarely used the all inclusive system are ready to fight for their wallets, – Montenegro, Bulgaria, Croatia. According to a study of a tour operator “Megacity Tours” (Moscow), over the past 5 years the number of hotels operating under the scheme in these countries increased by a factor of three.

Basic Instinct: does human gluttony has its limits?

All inclusive (AI) is a system of tourist services, where for a nominal fee vacationer gets access to an unlimited amount of food and drinks (usually 3-5 meals a day, “buffet” type). The popularity of AI among other food systems is partly due to psychological factors: the ability at the time of the acquisition of permits to limit their future expenditures specific amount, which is especially important in times of crisis and total savings. AI system is convenient because you do not need to calculate every day during the holidays whether you overpaid today for an extra glass of wine in a restaurant or a portion of ice cream for the baby.

By the way, the world oil crisis of the early 1970s provided the impetus for the introduction of AI. People started traveling less, that hit hard on the tourism industry and businessmen begun thinking about the “chip”, which would “spur” the demands. As an anti-crisis solution AI system were intensified in 2009. For example, ski resorts in Lapland started introducing it.

The client pays for everything at once, so you can calculate as accurately as possible (based on the number of tourists) how many products you need to buy that there was no more nor less, and in what ways you can save money on food.

At first glance, the system may seem unprofitable for a hotel, because the tourist eats and drinks, as many as he wants – there are no restrictions… However, experience shows that human insatiability has its limits, under which you can adapt and benefit. Thus, the average resting quietly fit into allotted for food costs. For example, a 5-star hotel (Turkey,Egypt,Greece) for seven days spent an average $150 on food, which usually does not exceed 20 % of the cost of the permit.

“All inclusive” format offers nothing in vain. Hotels manage to make money even on the specific services that tourists often do not enjoy or that simply does not exist.

“For example, the cost of AI-permits in an Egyptian hotel includes about $14 per day allotted to the various entertainments, including visits to the bowling club, which did not exist. And that amount could easily be spent on any tour”, – says the representative of a tour company, who requested anonymity.

By the fundamental law of AI, the more dishes at the buffet, the smaller amounts the guests are going to impose on their plates. Thus, buying tickets, tourists pay one way or another for “the table”, but its price is inaccurate when calculating the risk of being uncompetitive. Therefore, in addition to defining the consumption of food it is very important for the hotel to make a “Swedish menu” as variety and cost-effective as it could be.

The future of ALL INCLUSIVE: the quantity kills quality 

As a rule, for the sake of economy hotels are gaining unskilled seasonal workers. “Of course, in such circumstances to expect some kind of super-service is very difficult. Only high-class hotels, the cost of staying in which is thousands of dollars, can maintain an acceptable level of service”, – complements the commercial director of TEZ TOUR in Ukraine, Arkadii Maslov.

“Hotel to stay in the system AI – it’s their competitive advantage. If you switch to another – may go bust. For middle-class hotel, even a 5-star, the system is not profitable. But the AI – the demand of tourists. Unfortunately, we are taught them to do so”, – adds the expert.


The course of the development of all inclusive in our country has been taken before the crisis. In 2008 introduced a system of just three Crimean hotels “Adriatic”, “Pine Grove” and “1001 Nights”. As noted then in the Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of the ARC, these hotels are a kind of experiment, which will reveal the viability of the system “all inclusive” in the Ukrainian media. However, economic uncertainty has not yet been possible to find an answer to the question of whether the mass introduction of AI. Indeed, in 2009 the number of tourists dropped by the Crimean 17.4 %.

Crimea for the development of AI – a promising direction. “For example, breakfast, lunch and dinner at Yalta in any restaurant for 2-3 persons will cost no less than 600 – 700 UAH. This means that the overall “by” holiday in the Crimea is doubled. Hotels with AI on the background of this is really a win, and the tourists would not be a reason to go abroad”, – said the expert.

But along with excellent prospects, there are a number of difficulties, the introduction of AI. “First, you need to do Crimea resort area. To date, no hotels on the peninsula, on the basis of which to deploy the technology of AI. And the cost of something like that arrangement in the Crimea is the same as on the Mediterranean coast (about $ 80-200 million). Also in Turkey, the building may be raised for the first 9 months, as interested in this power structure, the country has a very developed system of credit, while in Ukraine the same hotel will be built about three years”, – says Arkadii Maslov. According to expert estimates,Ukraine has lagged behind in the direction of the spa business for 15-20 years.

In the development of tourism in Crimea have little incentive and tour operators, hotels, they do not take the lease. “The period of rest on the South Coast of Crimea is very short – from mid-June to late August. Hotels with the AI system will not have time to grow and pay off. At the same time, Egypt is a salary year round “, – said Vladimir Shevchenko, Director of Tourism tour operator “Pan Ukraine”. – “Perhaps the tour company will pay attention to the Carpathians, where there is a medical basis, working for a year. Maybe there is such a system will justify itself. ” In addition, experts believe that the Crimea should be prepared for the transition to a competitive system of AI. “First you need to do to try to introduce the concept of “food” to the list of services and experiment: a year to work on some lunches a year – for three meals a day without drinking, then gradually introduce alcohol. This will help prepare the ground, without prejudice to all inclusive. Indeed, the global trend, sooner or later come down to us”, – sums up Mr. Shevchenko.

Yevhenii Bentsa