In an attempt to get tourists to see more than just their resorts, Aruba has passed regulations that limit all-inclusive resorts to no more than 40% of hotel rooms on the island. A tourism minister and an ethical tourism representative told Bloomberg News:
“We are moving away from the trend, it’s very important for us for tourism not to become a negative concept in the life of the people of Aruba.”
“The all-inclusive, particularly in the Caribbean, is a model that prevents other forms of tourism from flourishing because nobody is leaving the resort, people are flying in, going to the resort, not leaving, and then flying back out.”
The intention of the regulation is to help drive tourism dollars to other local businesses outside the hotels, but some are worried the plan could backfire with large all-inclusive chains like RIU, Occidental, and Sandals packing up and heading to neighboring countries that have no such regulations.
Last year, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras voiced a similar concern that the all-inclusive resort “largely alienates tourism from the local economy.” Bloomberg notes that Gambia banned all inclusives in 2000, but then reversed its decision.