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new club med all inclusive resorts in asia ? :-)
Club Med seeks partners, locations in Asia
Business Times - 04 Apr 2006
ASIA is still attractive for the Paris-based vacation operator Club
Mediterranee, which is looking for potential partners and exceptional
locations to develop more of its 'villages', or resorts.
'At present, we're identifying potential partners or existing
properties and projects in order to grow quicker and faster, besides
identifying various locations like Sri Lanka and Fiji,' said Henri
Giscard d'Estaing, 48, Club Med's chief executive who was in Singapore
earlier this week.
Club Med intends to grow in Asia, he said, especially as the new
business model it developed three years ago - being upscale, convivial
and multicultural - creates good potential for profitability.
Being upscale is the latest tack taken by the iconic Club Med, now into
its 56th year, and best known for its all-inclusive holidays and GOs -
gentil organisateurs or gracious hosts. It was founded in 1950 by a
French former freedom fighter, Gerard Blitz, as a Utopian-like commune
where beads were used for currency. Now it has more than 100 villages
in 40 countries across five continents, 1.4 million-plus visitors a
year and an annual turnover of 1.6 billion euro (S$3.1 billion).
Club Med got into the black last year with a net profit of nine million
euro, over two years after Mr Giscard d'Estaing took over as CEO and
launched Club Med's new image.
'When I came on board, the objective was to put Club Med back on track
in terms of profitability and growth as soon as possible,' he related.
'And we managed to put the company back in the black in what has been
the most difficult environment for tourism, not just in Asia, but
worldwide - the war in Iraq, the tsunami, and hurricanes.'
Gaining profitability in that difficult environment, he believes, is
the result of the changes Club Med has made, and refocusing on what it
does best as well as what its customers expect. 'No company has been
able to do what we do on this worldwide scale - providing great
locations, five-star comfort, lots of activities and the ambience.'
In the past five years, Club Med has spent a little more than a billion
euro to upgrade 70 of its villages, open 20 new resorts and close down
50. 'There's been a reshuffle as the ones we closed were those that
would have been too expensive to upgrade, or were in inappropriate
locations due to lack of accessibility or the quality of the location.'
Over 90 per cent of its villages are rated three or four tridents,
equivalent to a four- or five-star rating among hotels.
Looking at how to stay on the cutting edge of the vacation business,
Club Med has started catering to teenagers who get brought along to
holidays by their parents. Says Mr Giscard d'Estaing, who's a father of
three himself: 'We've identified from our market studies that this is a
growing segment. It's a difficult market to accommodate, because
teenagers don't like to go on holidays with their parents; and if
they're not happy, they'll spoil their parents' holiday.'
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