Palma.—Financial pressures have led to a surge in Britons choosing all-inclusive packages for their annual holidays.

Recent research shows that bookings of holidays abroad that include flights, accommodation, food and drink have risen by 50 per cent in the last four years. A week in Majorca, for example, can now cost as little as £372 per person, and deals such as these are being snapped up by people who may previously have chosen a top-end holiday.

Another survey, conducted by the Post Office Travel Money, has found that not all holidaymakers are clear about what all-inclusive means, with four out of five people having to pay for items they thought would be included. When it came to dining, 65 per cent of those asked discovered that restrictions were put in place on food and drink, and that extra charges were made on items they assumed would be free.

Sarah Munro, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Although it is perfectly possible to stick to all-inclusive deals, our research found that in practice only one in five holidaymakers actually spent nothing extra on their trip. “Our research made it clear that holidaymakers expected food and drinks to be included, but in many cases packages only covered basics like buffet food and local alcoholic drinks. Two-thirds of the hotels surveyed excluded a la carte meals and well over half did not include cocktails, bottles of wine and branded alcoholic drinks.” Either way, the President of the Service Sector wing of the PIMEM small to medium sized business association, Juan Cabrera, yesterday urged the local government and tourist industry to focus more on providing quality accommodation and services instead of increasing the all inclusive market in Majorca. He said that the expansion of the all inclusive market is doing untold damage to the small business sector and the market should be capped.