Caroline Puechoultres, Club Med’s regional chief executive, said in an interview in Hong Kong , ‘We’ve doubled the market in Southeast Asia since about two years ago. We’ve identified 1 million to 2 million potential users in places like China, India and even Southeast Asia.’
Caroline Puechoultres said about 200,000 of Club Med’s 1.6 million members worldwide are in Asia and that number is expected to double in the next few years.
Perhaps it should be noted that the history of the club has not been all sweetness and light.
The Club was started in 1950 by former Belgian water polo champion, Gérard Blitz and the first village opened on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The original villages were, by concept, very simple with members staying in unlit straw huts on a beachfront, sharing communal washing facilities. Over time such villages have been replaced with modern blocks or huts with en suite facilities. Bbit by bit, it changed both in style and in ownership. At one point it was owned by Accor.
Now it is a different hotel experience which is ideal for parents with young children. The children are entertained throughout the day. Which accounts for much of Club Med’s popularity.
Club Med has nine Asia resorts but, as yet, none in China. It takes up to three years to build a new Club Med village ‘from scratch’ and costs between $70 and $140 million.
Lodging Econometrics, a consulting company in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, estimated last month that 481 hotels are under construction or planned for China.
‘Asia Pacific will more and more come back as a really growing destination for tourism and Southeast Asia will grow probably the fastest,’ Caroline Puechoultres said. ‘The cost of operations is quite low in the region and the sites are just wonderful.’
That does not specify China as an immediate target but it is most unlikely that Club Mediterranee can ignore the fastest growing economy in Asia if not the world.
Source: Live Mint and research.