So after the marathon of yesterday, a bit of a follow-up.
First thing to say is that the Bellevue article was subject to approval. There was a lot that could have been and could be said, but a lot that is better unsaid. But from what was published, perhaps the most revealing aspects are those to do with going all-inclusive (AI) and the impact that this has and has had.
When the interview was conducted and the question was put as to the possibility of going totally AI, the response was a firm "maybe". Equivocal perhaps, but the intent exists. It is clear that this is what the market is demanding, whether local businesses or indeed hotels like it. The further growth of AI seems almost inevitable and not only at Bellevue. And it isn't only the "crisis" that is driving it. If businesses had preferred, hitherto, to hope that it might all just go away, they had better start re-thinking. Alcúdia is not unique either.
I had long considered the notion of responsibility, especially of such a large complex as Bellevue, to what surrounds it. I had once couched this in terms analogous to the mine, the steelworks, the factory towns of Bournville and the like. The hotel was akin to some benevolent employer around which businesses and dwellings grew. I was clearly wrong. Unlike the factory towns that needed the houses and the businesses to support the factories, somewhere like Bellevue never needed them as such, or never asked for them to emerge. It is, as the interview pointed out, a question of it (the hotel) doing what it has to do. The responsibility is not there. However, one can look at this rather differently. A hotel, any hotel, does actually need what the resort can offer, and this includes local bars and restaurants. For without them, there is no resort. It is, if you like, the apocalyptic vision of where AI might ultimately lead. Unlikely though it may be, the logic is of hotels standing isolated among closed-down businesses which then convey a poor image of the resort. Would the tourist still come? He, the tourist, may be quite happy to spend his money solely on his AI package, but he still wants the sight of bars and the rest, even if he has no intention of visiting them. The bars become almost like museum pieces. It is perhaps also pertinent to observe that Bellevue, and other hotels, themselves grew wealthy because of the emergence of local businesses which, as much as the hotels, were what attracted the tourists. There has always been a symbiotic relationship; one that has now been undermined.
Yet you can understand the hotel's attitude, at least I can. Their business is the hotel, nothing else. Do local businesses feel responsibilities to each other? Doubtful. It is also true to say that businesses grew up and owners grew wealthy merely by dint of being there. They didn't always have to work that hard for custom. And this is the crux of where we now are; whether people like it or not. It may seem harsh but the hotels do not owe the local businesses. Those businesses had it great for years. And then the market changed, as markets always change, ultimately. In this market, the hotels are no longer as strong as they once were. Witness, for instance, the tour operators insistence on price reductions in 2010. It is the tour operators and tourist demand that are advancing the cause of AI, and the hotels have to adapt and are. This represents the power in the tourist market; the local bars and the rest are subservient and have to themselves adapt, assuming they can.
Today's title - not so much "can't live" as "can live"; who is it?
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