I detest AI (All Inclusive) with a passion. You can present any number of reasons why AI represents an attractive holiday option and they might all be valid, but you won’t stop me from hating it.

You want to see me?...Get off your ass!

You want to see me?...Get off your ass!

There are a number of reasons why I’m anti-AI, but one of the main ones is that as the availability of AI increases, the world is becoming a less exotic place.

As I was growing up, I mentally compiled a list of places I wanted to see, things I wanted to do. Magazines, books and movies opened up a world full of adventure with steamy jungles, jetties filled with sacks of exotic spices, vibrant cities with maze like alleys and people whose clothes were of such bright colours that you’d be blinded if you stared directly at them.

I haven’t achieved half of the things on that list, but I have managed some.

Nope...no AI here.

Nope...no AI here.

I’ve stood on the Great Wall of China; inched along the Bridge on the River Kwai; stared into the eyes of a lion in Kenya; gazed on the Indian Ocean from the ramparts of the walled city of Galle in Serendip; sipped Marsala tea with generals overlooking the Gateway to India…and so on. These are cherished memories. Treasures which are special to me and which I dust off every now and again and take out of the little box in my head marked ‘unforgettable moments’.
However, the Mumfords are doing their best to turn this world of wonder into a bland version of an out of town hypermarket.

Ahhh, that feels good!

Ahhh, that feels good!

Apologies to anyone called Mumford out there, I’m sure most of you are very nice people, but that was the name of a couple we encountered on our first long haul jaunt. In the jungle in Yala National Park in Sri Lanka we sat at a long trestle table where we were presented with the choice of eating a typical Sri Lankan curry, or roast beef. The Mumfords opted for roast beef.
“I’m not trying any of that muck,” I think were Mr Mumfords’ exact words.

This was nigh on twenty years ago. Travel to exotic and far flung places was still a relative rarity for the masses. We’d only been able to afford Sri Lanka because much of it was still a war zone (some things never change). A British FO document on arrival advised us not to leave the hotel. We ignored it.

The point is that the Mumfords were the harbingers of the AI generation and in my opinion typified everything that was wrong with the concept…they weren’t particularly interested in where they were going, but they were interested in wearing T-shirts which broadcast to the world where they’d been. They were simply ticking off the world.

Just doesnt look the same in a hotel lounge

Just doesn't look the same in a hotel lounge

Nowadays it’s gone a step further; with AI people don’t visit countries, they visit hotel complexes. They can say I’ve been to Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, whatever without ever having to actually experience the country itself…God forbid.

And that’s why I dislike AI; it sanitises travel and makes countries accessible to people who wouldn’t otherwise set foot in them. AI makes the world seem that little bit less magical.

This might sound as though I’m being a travel snob. I don’t care. I am a travel snob, I’m an unashamed travel snob, but only in as much as I believe that travelling is about experiencing the country you’re visiting; about discovery and learning…oh, as well as having fun in the process. I’m not some Calvinist with a back pack.

But if I’m a travel snob, then what does that make someone who travels 10 hours to sit in the sun around a pool complex which could be in ‘anywhere land’ when they could do exactly the same a lot closer to home?

  1. God! I guess I should have read the title. I was thinking AI…Artificial Insemination… hmmm, Artificial Intelligence… no… OOOOHHHH All Inclusive!

    Too much cat nip and not enough cat nap. Once my brain caught up, I couldn’t have agreed more with your anti-AI rant. I loved the eyes of a lion in Kenya paragraph and it made me nostalgic for my own Great Wall and rats-on-a-stick in Laos days.


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  3. dragojac says:

    Yeah, maybe I should make it a bit clearer…I don’t hate AI (the movie), although Spielberg should have called halt about 20 mins from the end.

    On the other hand Artificial Intelligence could be linked to All Inclusive as well, or should that stand for Absence of Intelligence…Meeeeow.

    “rats on a stick in Laos days” – Now that’s the sort of statement which whets the imagination.

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