My wife and I recently took a trip to one of those “all-inclusive” resorts, this one in Mexico’s Riviera Maya near Cancun. Ordinarily I’m not the type of person who goes for this sort of thing. A good vacation in my mind usually involves some adventure and spontaneity, especially when it comes to eating, so the notion of spending the better part of a week on some fenced off beach resort filled with Americans and Europeans and eating all my meals in the same place would normally not do it for me. But having a baby is severely limiting when it comes to vacation, unless you’re one of those alpha-types who straps your one-year-old to your back while climbing Macchu Pichu. For the rest of us, sitting on the beach with nothing to worry about is a lot more appealing when you’ve got an infant stumbling around. Really, our biggest worry on this trip was that our son was ingesting too much sand.
If you are a gringo like me, you can glean a lot of economic wisdom from traveling to a developing country and just observing. Prior to this trip I would have thought this to be impossible on a secluded resort walled off from the rest of the country. But that proved to be wrong.
Ironically, the concept of the all-inclusive resort housed in the developing world and servicing tourists from the richer countries can tell you a lot about where we are as a human race and where we’re gradually going collectively. It provides a snapshot of this moment in economic history, a moment which is destined over time to vanish forever.