Club Med un­veils spe­cial re­sort line

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­

In the wake of two con­sec­u­tive years of prof­its, French leisure group Club Med said it is launch­ing a new line of re­sorts in China — tar­get­ing busi­ness gen­er­ated by the in­creas­ing so­phis­ti­ca­tion of con­sumers and higher de­mand for trav­el­ing from af­flu­ent Chi­nese fam­i­lies.

The com­pany said the new re­sort brand is called Club Med Joyview, and has been de­signed es­pe­cially for the Chi­nese mar­ket. The first two Joyview re­sorts will be un­veiled in the north­ern coastal re­sort town of Bei­daihe and in Anji county, in Zhe­jiang prov­ince, by the end of this year.

Club Med Pres­i­dent Henri Gis­card d’Es­taing said the Joyview re­sorts would mainly tar­get mid­dle-class fam­i­lies and busi­ness peo­ple vis­it­ing first­tier cities. As a re­sult, the new re­sorts will mainly be lo­cated in smaller cities within three hours drive from the main cities.

Bought by Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate Fo­sun Group for 900 mil­lion eu­ros ($1 bil­lion) in early 2015, Club Med swung back to profit within the first year, turn­ing round the 44 mil­lion euro loss posted in the year prior to the ac­qui­si­tion. The group re­ported that its busi­ness rev­enue for the win­ter 2017 sea­son, from Novem­ber 2016 to April 2017, hit a record high of 875 mil­lion eu­ros, up 6.5 per­cent year-on-year.

With th­ese suc­cesses in the bag, Club Med said it will open eight new re­sorts world­wide be­tween 2017 and 2018. By 2020, the leisure group said it is tar­get­ing open­ing five new in­ter­na­tional re­sorts an­nu­ally, in­clud­ing in Italy, Spain and the United States.

Club Med man­aged dou­bledigit growth in China last year. Its new ski re­sort in Bei­dahu, lo­cated out­side of Jilin city in Jilin prov­ince, opened in late Novem­ber last year and re­ported an oc­cu­pancy rate of 81 per­cent for its first sea­son.

The group says there will be 20 Club Med re­sorts in China by 2020.

Gis­card d’Es­taing said his com­pany’s surg­ing pres­ence in China is the re­sult of the evo­lu­tion of the lo­cal mar­ket. The rise of the mil­len­ni­als, China’s sec­ond-child pol­icy, and the de­vel­op­ing tastes of con­sumers had re­sulted in their pur­suit of spe­cial travel ex­pe­ri­ences, he added.

Ac­cord­ing to China’s big­gest on­line travel agency, Ctrip, de­mand for travel is hot tar­get among mil­lenials and travel is meet­ing that need. It said that since the sec­ond-child pol­icy was in­tro­duced in late 2015, one third of the or­ders the agency had re­ceived were for fam­ily trips, with each fam­ily trip worth an av­er­age of just over 10,000 yuan ($1,481) in 2017.

Gis­card d’Es­taing also said that Club Med’s suc­cess in the past two years was in­sep­a­ra­ble from the in­put pro­vided by Fo­sun.

“We have part­nered with Fo­sun for nearly seven years,” he said. “It has sup­ported our de­vel­op­ment not only with their fi­nan­cial means, but also with their global ca­pa­bil­ity, par­tic­u­larly its in­dus­trial base in China.”

Speak­ing of Beijing’s re­cent scru­tiny into Fo­sun’s over­seas in­vest­ments and debt, he said he agreed that any­thing that con­trib­uted to eco­nomic sta­bil­ity was a pos­i­tive move.

“In that re­spect, the ac­tion of Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties re­in­forces sta­bil­ity and growth. We have seen Fo­sun’s steady and rea­son­able de­vel­op­ment, as well as their am­bi­tions,” he said.

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