Club Med had a record first half. This would be due in particular to its move upmarket. This is what its president, Henri Giscard d’Estaing, told AFP. The acceleration of sales in Asia is part of this progression. An opening of the capital would be considered by its owner Fosun Tourism.
Reservations on the rise in Asia
Tourism in Asia is in a rebound phase after the removal of travel restrictions, said Rachael Harding, CEO of East and South Asia and the Pacific.
However, mainland China’s external market is still lagging behind, she said.
The last-minute nature of recent bookings shows people have lingering concerns about making long-term plans, Rachael Harding said. But Club Med is also seeing booking models return to a more traditional profile with more advanced bookings.
A number of customers almost identical to 2019
This year, the Asian tourism market has seen an aggressive rebound. The number of customers booking at Club Med in Asia-Pacific reached 245,000 in the first half of 2023, compared to 107,000 last year, according to interim results from Fosun Tourism. The company’s business volume in Asia-Pacific in the first half of 2023 tripled compared to the same period last year. It has not yet fully reached the pre-pandemic level, with a gap of 8 percent compared to its 2019 figure.
For the first time, Club Med achieves half-yearly turnover exceeding 1 billion euros
The figure is up 32% compared to the same period in 2022 and 20% compared to 2019, before the pandemic. Operating profit was 159 million euros.
Capturing local customers
By 2025, Club Med plans to open 17 new hotel complexes and expand or renovate more than 10 clubs.
“What also worked was the geographical strategy”, underlines Henri Giscard d’Estaing. “We were able to benefit from the recovery in America in the first half of 2022 and then, in the second half, in Europe. In the first half of 2023, we benefited from continued strong momentum in America, good momentum in Europe and the recovery of our business in Asia.”
And in the countries where it is present, the group, 40% of whose customers come from France, seeks to capture local customers. “This is an evolution in our strategy. The pandemic forced us to strengthen our local presence.”
“This was particularly the case in Asia,” explains the president, citing the example of Malaysia, whose borders were closed for three years. “In this Club Med there were 20% Chinese customers. We managed to replace this Chinese clientele with Malaysian clientele. We did the same thing in Brazil,” according to Henri Giscard d’Estaing.
The mountains are another strategic axis for Club Med, which has opened new resorts in the Alps, Canada and Japan. Last winter, mountain turnover increased by 45% year-on-year and the number of customers by 10%.
This summer, the group opened the doors of seven Club Med in the Alps. “Our goal is to continue to develop this activity. Next year, eight Club Meds will open in the summer” in the Alps, he added.
Skiing also in Asia
Ski trips represent 65% of Hong Kongers’ Club Med trips, the highest percentage in the world, according to the company. While most ski-related bookings are made in Asia, particularly Japan, the share of European destinations has increased this year compared to pre-pandemic levels.
A partial opening of capital?
“An opening of Club Med’s capital to minority strategic partners could be considered, indicated Henri Giscard d’Estaing, “and this with the possible objective of strengthening the development and growth potential of Club Med”.