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Thread: All-inclusives

  1. #1
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    Smile All-inclusives

    Hello everyone!!

    My name is Sonia and I am doing a study (writing a thesis) on the impacts that the All-Inclusive resorts have on the local community of the D.R.

    I spent two months there last year, which were fantastic, and I passed on staying in A.Is because I wanted to contribute to the local economy and wanted to talk to them. But anyway, that is my opinion; as you can see, I am pretty biased! But I would like to have more opinions on it.

    There is a very important detail I need to know, and it would be really helpful if you had this information. When did the All-Inclusive resorts start in the D.R????? Mostly in Puerto Plata, and then in the area of Santo Domingo, mostly Juan Dolio, which is where I was staying. People seemed to believe that it was quite recent, however, noone could give me a date!! Could you help????

    Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sonia.

  2. #2
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    Default Has a very big impact

    They supply jobs, they are one of the few paying for their utility bills
    subsidising those that don't.Support farming communities.
    Example La Esplanade A big A.I. in Sosua otherside of town.
    Just closed. Now you should see
    Calle pedro glisante the tourist used to walk
    to their beach.
    The last part of that street to the hotel used to be very busy with lots of little bars and shops.
    Now they had to close as well.
    Look ar playa Dorada as well.
    There is a whole industry based on and around that resort strip supplying a living to the locals.

    Well maybe a vibrant tourist industry without A.I. would be better for the local economy.
    But maybe a vibrant tourist industry without A.I is not possible.
    And then any kind of tourist is better then none at all.

  3. #3
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    Default All-Inclusives

    I agree with you in some aspects, like for example, the A.Is create employment, etc, etc. But about using the local supplies such as food, drinks, etc, it doesn't happen in most cases. I have read that the D.R. doesn't have enough supplies to cater for the A.I tourists. And why is that? Because they are not investing locally in the agriculture, farming and so on. Most A.I companies are foreign (if I am not wrong) and so the money eventually goes outside. Because of the amount of imports, the local economy suffers lots of leakages. Also, the hotels waste a lot of food and drinks, and local resources such as water and power. I can see that tourism, whatever type of tourism it is, is needed in the D.R., and it accounts for a lot in the country, but I think the Government should realise that they are overdependent on that industry and forgetting about their own, such as agriculture, etc. Do you think the country would be hopeless without the A.I?

    When I went to Santo Domingo, the city is beautiful, but so dirty!! I think the Government is giving total priority to that type of tourism (AI) forgetting that the way the city looks is also important for two reasons: 1st, for the locals, and 2nd for the tourists when they do venture out. If they improved the city, tourists should want to go out a bit more. Even though, in many cases tour operators and travel agents tell tourists that it is dangerous outside. That is just ridiculous. I always felt safe. You do feel a bit of hassle, but it is totally understandable if they don't see tourists around anymore, when they see one, they go for them!

    Does anyone still know what year they started? Or what year hotels transformed into A.Is? I am doing my best to find it out with the clues you've all given me.

    I really do appreciate your comments. Thanks a lot.

  4. #4
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    Default All-inclusives

    Info is very sparse on opening dates of AI hotels.

    The Jack Tar in Playa Dorada opened about 20 years ago (so I read). I think it was one of the original hotels in that complex. Don't have much more. The government invested massively in tourist zones (AI's) around Puerto Plata from 1974 to 1982. I read Casa de Campo in La Romana was inaugurated sometime in the 70's (yes, I know: this ain't very precise!...)

    BTW, tourism development was initially due to domestic investment. It is estimated that as recently as 1987 only 21% of hotels in DR were owned by foreign interests. Of course this has changed since then...

    Tousists in AI resorts are told not to go out because tour operators wanna sell their own tours, and representatives don't want to have to settle any complaints. They don't want any problems, so the easiest solution is to convince them it's dangerous "outside". Yes it hurts the local economy. Dominicans complain that they don't see as many tourists "in and around town" as they used to 10-15 years ago. Strangely enough there are more tourists today than there were 10 years ago. But they remain "hidden" in AI complexes, so they don't patronize local restaurants, bars, discos, shops, they don't experiment motoconchos (!!!)....

    The AI industry has also "given birth" to a new kind of tourists: those who are penniless. They go to DR having already paid their food and accomodation. They think the rest is free so they brought about $50 cash to spend for 2 weeks for a family of 4... You can imagine the result. I heard of tourists who entered a restaurant on Sosua's main street and asked if the restaurant was part their the all-inclusive package (TRUE STORY).... The waiter, a friend of mine, was speachless.

    Problem is 90% of all tourism in the entire Caribbean is all-inclusive and it's not about to end. More complexes are projected in DR, all of them huge super-luxury AI's. I wish demand would shift back to individual tourism where everything is separate. In Sosua a few years ago there had been a project amongst the various AI resorts to offer something of a bead-and-breakfast plan to encourage clients to get out see what the real world is like, but I don't think it made it. They may have feared clients would go another destination instead. The AI concept is very well established; people don't want to have surprises.

    Sorry I didn't have more data.

  5. #5
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    Post AI thread from Archive

    [ Click on link to see message thread --->

    http://dr1.com/forums/showthread.php...strip+AND+mine

  6. #6
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    Smile All-inclusives

    That is actually great. Thank you so much. Because I found it strange noone could actually give a precise date on when the AIs started. It's funny that it started about 30 years ago and it's only been about 10 years since tourists are really not getting out of their resorts. I suppose only about 10 years ago (and even more recently) trends have changed and people that couldn't afford to travel are doing so now. And of course, they they are still pretty poor, and once they pay their money upfront (only about 400 here in England for 2 weeks, which you earn only working 16 hours a week) they have nothing else, and need nothing else. I think it's pretty sad. I understand the Government is afraid that they will lose tourism if they drop AIs because that should be an agreement between all the countries in the Caribbean, really.

    Do you think the AIs have social impacts such as crime, prostitution, corruption, etc or do you think those impacts are caused by other factors?

    Sonia.

  7. #7
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    Unhappy Initial AI's

    I've been reading the posts and may have some info. I came to Juan D'Olio for this first time in 1991 to an AI (Costa Linda) now defunct. Tamarindo (also defunct) was also operating as an AI while the remaining two resorts in the area were not all inclusive. There were several restaurants and bars in the area, a disco, gift shops, market,tour companies, dive shops etc. These resorts were all small, and definitely no more than 2 star American classification. However they were clean, the staff was great and the food was good. We left the resort (even tho' it was all-inclusive) everyday to explore the little town and all it had to offer and to interact with the inhabitants. Had a great time both in and out of the resort.
    Over the years the other resorts also went AI and you could see the local establishments start to go downhill.
    More in the next post.

  8. #8
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    Unhappy AI in Juan D'Olio

    Tourist were being told not to go out, that it wasn't safe (indeed today it isn't but back a few years ago it was), tour companies were nabbing the tourists the minute they arrived to sell them sightseeing tours (at inflated prices) for which the "rep's" received commision to recommend them during the orientation session (rather than telling people it was cheaper to buy from a tour operator on the street) so that even if the tourist did leave the resort they had slready booked their tours and had no money left.
    Also the "new" Juan D'Olio was being constructed 2 kilometers away with large, 4 star AI's. Needless to say the smaller resorts and almost all the local shops "died" and no longer exist. This year with the events of Sept. 11 and the decline in the world economy, tourism is at an all time low. It is dead here in Juan D'Olio, crime is high, there is nothing to do, nowhere to go (except the casino in the large resorts) no employment.
    The one thing I have noticed is the abundance of good produce in the local farmers market in San Pedro which is cheaper (because of the abundance) than last year. This I've accredited to the fact that the large AI's are not buying as much because of low numbers of guests.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I have been to A. I. in Juan Dolio a few times never has anyone adviced me not to leave the resort.
    Ive been adviced not to leave my hotel in Buffalo New York, but never in the D.R.

  10. #10
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    Question AI'S

    That may be but the AI's we stayed in did. Also my "other" half worked for two yrs. at an AI and it was standard procedure for the "REPS" as in tour company representatives, to tell guests to use the services of the hotel associates and NOT to go out on the street to find sightseeing tours, restaurants, disco's etc.
    While AI's do provide jobs they are mainly low paying and local entrepreneurs are paying the price and closing up shop.

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