The All Inclusive system is the cheapest option for a happy holiday with no worries. The low prices of tourist packages in Bulgaria, including breakfast, lunch and dinner placed this country among the top tourist destinations in Europe. However, we still cannot get rid of the image of a country with cheapest holiday options, despite all efforts of the state and the branch to develop a whole-year cultural and ecological tourism, advertising its unique and ancient historical and cultural heritage.
Now the invasion of All Inclusive is about to confirm that image for good.
The so-called All Inclusive that attracts crowds of foreign tourists means a lot of food. If one books a holiday as early as January, he or she could spend a very cheap holiday with… all included. Hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists come this way to the Black Sea via their tour operators with the idea to enjoy both the sun and the beach, but also knowing that full tables will expect them three times per day. It turns out that the All Inclusive system was implemented on the Balkans to a great degree by this country. The tourists received three meals per day as early as the 1950s, when the first resorts along the Black Sea coastline were built. The only difference was in the name of the package – full board. However, many of the hotels didn’t have their own restaurants and the tourists had to go to the neighboring ones. Despite this the full board system was very successful and was later implemented in the neighboring Greece and Turkey that are our main competitors on the world tourist markets. Today tour operators and hotel owners compete in the offering of All Inclusive packages. The problem however lies in the quality of the food offered and the service.
“People that have less money turn to the All Inclusive system,” says Roumen Draganov, chair of the Institute for Analyses and Assessments in Tourism. “They want to know how much exactly their holiday will cost, so that they can evaluate their expenses in advance. They don’t want to take a roll of money and to see them disappearing for 3-4 days at the seaside. In a word, all inclusive packages are aimed at the mass, low-budget tourism.”
However, the quality of the services, included in these packages is controversial and depends on each separate hotel. It often turns out that nothing is what it looks like with All Inclusive and local chefs show incredible fantasy in their improvisations. For instance, the lunch chicken may appear once again in the evening in the form of a soup, while on the next day you may eat it once again as a stew. Some cooks can work out miracles in their strive to save money. By the way, the situation is similar abroad too. That is the reason why people that are more pretentious avoid All Inclusive. Local communities are not happy either, since the system encourages holidays, spent on one place and tourists spend no money outside the hotel complex. This affects local business that relies on the tourist season. However, the limitation of this kind of services in Bulgarian hotels has been recently discussed more and more seriously.
“The current idea of the Food Safety Agency is All Inclusive to be available only in hotels with 4-5 stars, due to the poorer quality of services at some places,” Roumen Draganov goes on to say. “Such violations shouldn’t be neglected at any price, but they apply not only to All Inclusive services, but to the whole feeding system in our resorts. I.e. no compromises with the food should be allowed, no matter if it is All Inclusive or not!”
English version: Zhivko Stanchev