One may say there is nothing new about the “all inclusive” resort concept. Most everybody knows how it works: all the fun you can handle and all the food you can eat. Since Club Med established the “all-inclusive” resort in the 1950s, it has become one of the most popular types of resorts for millions of travelers: youngsters, families with kids, and active adults of any age.
By definition, an all-inclusive resort is a holiday resort that includes all meals, soft drinks, and most alcoholic drinks included in one, upfront price. Many also offer a selection of sports and other activities included in the price as well. The financial crisis hit especially hard on businesses that operated all-inclusives. For many resorts, it is extremely difficult to maintain acceptable rates with continuously rising expenses. Some hotels in Turkey are now considering a concept change from an all-inclusive to a more traditional service as budget constraints hamper their businesses. Similar resorts in Hawaii and the Caribbean also are struggling to find the balance.
Is there another way to offer an “all-inclusive” resort, maintain profitability, and most importantly, keep customers happy? Pacific Islands Club, located on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean, has adjusted over the last 20 years from a traditional all-inclusive business to one that incorporates a unique customized concept. The resort has been walking this path successfully ever since.
PIC ( www.picresorts-saipan.com ) is known as the most spectacular resort on Saipan. Located on prime 58,000 sq. meters of beachfront property, the resort provides over 60 different types of sports and recreation free of charge to its guests. As in the traditional all-inclusive concept, the resort’s guests benefit from the merge of expansive facilities and modern resort accommodations with the hotel’s special ambassadors of adventure, the PIC Clubmates (also known as its animators). They are available to help guests enjoy the glorious blue skies, crystal clear waters, spectacular sunsets, and the myriad of other activities for that perfect tropical getaway.
However, when it comes to food and beverage options, PIC provides its customers the flexibility to choose what they want. At PIC, each guest receives a Membership Card upon check in. The Membership Card performs as a room key, allows unlimited access to all on-site facilities, sports and activities, and also offers one of three meal options. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze cards distinguish a guest’s meal packages. Resort guests may enjoy their holiday pre-paid meals and simply pay as they go (Bronze card) or they could choose to have daily breakfast included (Silver card). For those in love with the traditional all-inclusive concept, the resort offers the Gold card which includes three meals daily, but snacks and drinks at the bar are an additional charge. PIC has even gone a step further in customizing the meal plan by offering a fourth option, the Silver Select card which includes daily breakfast plus a choice of lunch or dinner.
What are the benefits? PIC’s guests feel comfortable with their selection of meal plans as they can choose to leave the hotel for some optional tours and purchase only the meals they plan to eat. They enjoy the all-inclusive freedom at the PIC facility by participating in a multitude of sports, activities, and entertainment available. On the resort side, unlike regular all-inclusives which often consists of all meals, alcohol, and snacks, PIC’s Food and Beverage department derives greater profits from retail-priced meals from guests who purchase the Bronze, Silver, or Silver Select cards. Accommodations and meals sold separately allow the resort to be more flexible in the pricing and to charge greater than a traditional all-inclusive resort for a similar situation.
PIC Saipan distinguishes itself with a different flavor to the all-inclusive concept. Perhaps it’s time for Wikipedia to revise its definition so that other resorts can emulate PIC’s path for greater profit and guest satisfaction.