TORONTO — Despite fierce competition in the all-inclusive sector, Club Med President Henri Giscard d’Estaing seems very confident about Club Med and its expansion, especially with the group’s new Michès Playa Esmeralda resort in the D.R., coming in December 2019.
“We always find the best sites. We were the second in Cancun, the first to arrive at Punta Cana when the airport did not even exist! Many hoteliers set up in a destination when it exists, we are pioneers and we often help to create the destination.”
Giscard d’Estaing was among a dozen members of the Club Med executive committee meeting in Montreal last week. The quarterly meeting incorporated a press conference with the trade media including Travelweek’s sister publication, Profession Voyages (professionvoyages.com).
The all-inclusive pioneer offered a look at its future destinations at the Montreal meeting, along with its overall strategy and its commercial activity in Canada.
Club Med’s new Michès Playa Esmeralda resort in the D.R. “is in our image”, says Giscard d’Estaing.
He adds: “Everyone knows this beach and it was a long time since we looked at this site but there was no road access and the way to get in was long and complicated. When we heard about the realization of a road that was just two kilometres from this beautiful beach, we jumped at the chance.
“We will be the first to own a hotel on this beach while everyone thought that the best places in the D.R. were already taken. On site, there is a real local life and we will create partnerships for our guests to discover.”
The D.R. update came on the heels of Club Med’s latest news: the new name for its Quebec ski resort. Currently under construction and scheduled to open in December 2020, the new resort (and first Canadian Club Med) will be called Club Med Québec Charlevoix. Rates for group bookings will be announced this summer and individual bookings will open December 2019.
“On behalf of the entire Club Med team, I am pleased to welcome Canada to our product portfolio,” said Giscard d’Estaing. “By naming the Village Club Med Quebec Charlevoix, we wanted to not only promote the province of Quebec, but also the beautiful region of Charlevoix and contribute to their influence abroad. We are proud to expand our presence on an exceptional site, presenting a breathtaking landscape, fine gastronomy and a ski area offering unique sensations.”
Club Med Québec Charlevoix will be a 4-Trident Village with a 5-Trident space adding to the company’s Exclusive Collection portfolio, and located about one hour from Quebec City International Airport with views of the St. Lawrence. More information about the property will be available before the end of 2018.
The Canadian market is trending up for the group, says Giscard d’Estaing. The number of Canadians travelling to Club Med Villages continues to grow, with 42,000 Canadian guests staying at Club Med resorts worldwide in 2017. Some 65% come from Quebec and 20% from Ontario.
The top Club Med resorts for Canadians are Club Med Punta Cana, Cancun Yucatan and Club Med Turkoise. The company’s ski villages are also popular.
The next step for the group? To increase its presence in the English-speaking provinces.
“The number of Canadian customers is growing year-over-year in double-digit numbers at our Club Med locations around the world. This makes Quebec, and Canada, one of the most dynamic markets in the world for Club Med,” said Giscard d’Estaing.
The millennial family segment represents an important development asset for the group. “This is a real phenomenon: 50% of our clientele is made up of families,” says Club Med’s North America Managing Director, Xavier Mufraggi. Also in the target market are ‘3G’ (i.e. multi-generational groups with three generations) and active couples.
Upcoming projects include the expected opening of Club Med Arcs Panorama in the French Alps in December 2018. A renovation project is also planned in Guadeloupe in the Village Club Med de la Caravelle.