Far from a Culture of Moderation for Some – The All-Inclusive Experience

I’m a people watcher by nature, so it’s not surprising I noticed that people’s drinking behaviors varied on a recent trip to an all-inclusive resort in the sunny south.

There were people at the resort from many countries around the world: England, Finland, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, and of course, Canada and the United States. It was a relatively small resort and I would run into the same people throughout the week. There appeared to be distinct drinking patterns among the guests – while those from Scandinavian, Mediterranean and eastern European countries appeared to drink in moderation, others did not.

The whole notion of the all-inclusive, where the bar opens at 10 a.m. (although there is a bottle of vodka at the entrance to the buffet breakfast for those seeking an eye-opener) and is open into the wee hours of the morning, is interesting on its own. The availability of, and access to, alcohol is clearly part of the experience, and while not all visitors overindulge clearly, most people end up drinking more than they would normally.

The paradox is that you are in an otherwise healthy environment where physical activity and relaxation opportunities are in abundance, yet you see people placing their alcoholic drinks on the ledge while they play a bit of beach volleyball, taking sips between points and chugging at the end of the game. What’s wrong with this picture?

My final observation was that many young adults were drinking regularly all day, every day. I just couldn’t help thinking that with all-inclusive vacations we’re breeding a whole generation of binge drinkers.

And to think – with recent changes to the Liquor Licence Act, resorts in Ontario can now provide all-inclusive vacation packages closer to home!

Author: Janice R.N.

I am a Registered Nurse at Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

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