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Club Med to Open Eight Resorts in the Next Two Years

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What’s behind the rapid expansion?

 

In 2016, nearly 200,000 Chinese travellers chose Club Med for their vacation. The resort enables them to either lie on the beach and do nothing, or experience various activities and delicious food.

 

With more than 70 resorts worldwide, Club Med has already shaped its own travel philosophy and is now innovating more travel experiences. Let’s hear what Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med, has to share with us. Maybe it will inspire you to work out a perfect plan for your next holiday!

 

Interview with Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med:

                     Gino Andreetta, CEO of Greater China

 

1.Which Club Med Joyview resorts have been confirmed with owner and signed the contract? Are these seven places in Anji, Zhoushan, Beidaihe, Beijing Great Wall, Suzhou Gongshan Island, Lishui Qianxia Lake, Zhangjiakou Chongli? Will the Club Med Joyview Anji and Golden Coast officially open this year? Is there any specific time? Any other area in China you will choose for Joyview in future? What are the criteria for selecting the location and what are your partner’s criteria?

 

Henri: China has the greatest number of immense cities with large, affluent middle class families who want to enjoy short-stay holidays, but there are other parts of the world where this could be a successful brand. For example, we have opened a resort on Lake Paradise in San Paulo, which is the biggest city of Brazil. The Lake Paradise resort is, in a way, quite similar to Club Med Joyview, and was designed to attract families and active couples from San Paulo for long weekends or short holidays, while servicing meetings, conferences and exhibitions industry during the week.

 

Another aspect of Club Med Joyview that we think is important is the introduction of a more flexible pricing approach that allows customers to choose if they just want to buy the room, add a few additional activities or purchase the full all-inclusive package. We want to expand the number of Chinese families and active couples, who often have trouble coping with the premium all-inclusive offer, by making the resort more accessible and affordable for everyone.

 

2.In terms of room design and hotel design, sports and price, what are the differences between the traditional Club Med resorts and Club Med Joyview resorts?

 

Henri: Everything about Club Med Joyview is like Club Med…except for pricing. It’s a Club Med with international Gentils Organisateurs (GOs), activities, entertainment, etc. Obviously, they are all adapted to local environments and customs. In Anji, we offer horse riding, which you can’t do everywhere. So, there are specific activities linked to a particular location, but overall it is truly a Club Med. Notably, Club Med Joyview is more accessible -- you can reach the resorts by car. And pricing is more flexible -- you can choose part of the all-inclusive package or opt for something less expensive.

 

Henri: We have added activities to the program during the weekend because the premium Club Med program is intended for longer stays. Second, there’s a focus on meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition industry activities, and we offer very significant facilities for a wide variety of events. In terms of software, inventing values type of MICE, which could be attractive because of the MICE activities, we have been the resort compared with normal hotel.

 

Gino: What’s important to Club Med is the children. When they come here, we want kids to have fun and enjoy a completely new experience. We are the leader in this area — the Mini Club offers entertainment and educational activities specifically designed for children. And Club Med Joyview will focus on this as well. So, everybody in the family can be happy and have fun. The kids will make new friends and have new experiences, while the parents enjoy themselves.

 

Henri: Our target customers are families with three generations — grandparents, parents and kids — as well as active couples who want to experiment and try new activities like various sports or just enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. So, this is for the part which we do for holidays.

 

3.As far as short-term trips are concerned, domestic rural tourism is very popular in China right now. Will Club Med Joyview consider entering this area?

 

Henri: Obviously, Club Med Joyview will be designed to blend with the local environment. For example, with the Anji facilities, we have preserved and replanted white tea and bamboo throughout the resort to mirror the area’s natural surroundings. Our clients will have the opportunity to enjoy new experiences. It’s a resort-based experience that is truly geared to provide our guests with a rural experience.

 

4.What’s the biggest challenge Club Med has met after entering the Chinese market?

 

We’re managing our rapid growth by ensuring we work closely with all our resorts to understand how the Chinese market is changing. I will just give you two examples:

 

We have seen, year after year, a steady increase in the length of stay of our Chinese guests. When we first started tracking this information, our Chinese guests had half the length of stay of Americans and Europeans.

 

In our second example, we’ve seen that our Chinese guests tend to book earlier now. So we have to adapt all our systems and cycle of sales to those changes. So it’s a challenge to adapt to growth and change.

 

It’s a combination again of the challenge and opportunity with the growth of digital technology.

 

China is taking a global lead in terms of digital technology, especially mobile communications. It’s a challenge, but also an opportunity. Because when you have something to show, you have an advantage in that you have content that others don’t have. We can show experience in Club Med and simply a room of our resort.

 

5.What changes Club Med has after joining Fosun?

 

Henri: We enjoyed a year and a half of record growth and profitability. This is the obvious result of the successful strategy we have implemented with the Fosun’s support — going local and focusing on digital.

 

We are planning the grand opening of Cirque De Soliel at our South France facility, one of our most important resorts. This will be a tremendous benefit for our customers because it will be the first Cirque De Soliel resort in Europe.

 

In December of this year, we will open our second ski resort in Hokkaido. This will show our leading position in ski and mountain resorts in Asia, similar to what we have in Europe. Without Fosun, we would not have achieved this.

 

6.What do you think of the Chinese tourism market?

 

Henri: There are a lot of trends. It’s obviously a growing market for families who want to travel and enjoy holidays. And again those families have three generations: grandparents, parents and kids. How do we make sure those three generations are all happy during their vacation? For us, it’s an opportunity.

 

The change and growth of the millennium generation, who obviously have their own view of how to live. This is great news for the travel industry, because compared with their parents, who are focused more on saving, mortgages and real estate, they want to travel and enjoy themselves. They are the target of the digital market.

 

They don’t go online. They live online. And they’re now the ones who create the reputation and opinion of our product. And again this is linked to the approach of Fosun of C2M, which is the major trend.

 

7.Can you share more examples of how you cooperate with other companies of the Fosun family?

 

Henri: I will give two examples.

 

We are cooperating very closely with Fosun IT teams in order to upgrade the digital experience of our customers within our resorts. I hope you will be at the opening of our new resorts. You will see we are creating a very advanced environment.

 

We cooperate with Fosun Property either on the identification of the project, or on deciding which company is our best partner.

 

We are working with Fosun on how to make sure that our customers can experience the benefits of other Fosun activities and services. We will clearly have that, especially in Sanya, and in the combined states between CLUB MED and Atlantis. We’re looking for other services that can be done together. We share customers when we offer additional services, or we offer them combined products.

 

We have a specific agreement with Cirque De Soleil. We are partners in developing resort activities. We work location by location. It’s not a show. It’s an opportunity for our guests to experience the Cirques. If you go there, you can go flying with them. Guests can do what they do in their shows. It’s kind of a Cirque school, in a way.

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