Vijay Sharma, General Manager-South East Asia, Club Med, talks what makes Club Med stand out while explaining the impact of the current pandemic!
What’s your reaction on COVID-19? How do you think it will impact the industry?COVID-19 has had a drastic impact on tourism globally and unfortunately the travel industry is among the first to get impacted. The scale of this is global and most countries have restricted travel and issuance of visas. However, in lieu of the cancellations, many industry stakeholders are offering travellers the option to defer their travel to a future date, thereby allowing flexibility in travel bookings.
What is the USP of Club Med?
Club Med is not just a hotel chain, it is a premium all-inclusive holiday experience which includes engaging activities, exciting entertainment and unlimited F&B offerings catering to all age groups. Whether you are travelling with kids, with friends or as a couple, all Club Med resorts have activities well-suited for a multi-generational families accompanied by an experienced in-house team to take care of your well-being and ensure you have a great experience. The most unique differentiator for Club Med are the professionally trained G.Os who engage the guests (GM’s) with plenty of adventures in store for children and adults. The brand is big on active holidays ensuring guests can choose to participate or learn over 60 fun-filled land and water activities including Flying Trapeze, Aerial Yoga by the beach, snorkeling, water skiing among several other excursions. Evenings at Club Med is always buzzing with great entertainment options that are all organized and performed by in-house staff, from intimate evenings with live music, to parties, circus and grand dance performances. Whether it is cocktails by the beach or wine for dinner, Club Med’s premium open bar has unlimited options of spirits, all-day dining and international gourmet restaurant options which are all-inclusive in one’s stay. Vacations are the best times to create memories and bring families closer. Realizing this, Club Med has an ‘Amazing Family! Programme’ as part of its premium all-Inclusive holiday experience helping families’ bond, reconnect and enjoy activities around 5 pillars; Time to Play, Time to Move, Time to Care, Time to Quest and Time to Celebrate. Experience thrilling activities such as Soccer Bumper, Kite Competition, Giant Jenga, Molky, local Cooking Classes, treasure hunts, colour and foam parties and family big snacks. In short, Club Med’s premium all-inclusive holidays offer unlimited activities, meal options and entertainment that are absolute value for money. From transfers, sports and activities, gourmet cuisine and premium spirits, child-care facilities to entertainment and parties, we have got everything covered, so that travellers can forget worrying about logistics on the trip.
Importance of Indian market for Club Med resorts and what are the main resorts famous among Indian travellers?
India is one of the fastest growing outbound markets in the world witnessing double digit growth. It is one of the most important markets for us as we have been present in India for almost 10 years now. The response among Indian travellers has been fantastic with Club Med being one of the highest selling properties in the Maldives. Besides Maldives, we have a strong traffic coming in to our properties in Mauritius, Bintan, Bali and Phuket. India is a part of our emerging countries cluster (India, Indonesia, Thailand), and we are investing strategically in these markets. Club Med was the first to offer real all-inclusive holidays and invented the concept of Kids Clubs. Now with almost 70 resorts in exotic locations, Club Med continues to bring couples and families together through sun and ski holidays. Our all-inclusive snow holiday resorts offer several winter sports, ski passes and lessons from the national ski school in the heart of the most beautiful ski areas of Japan, France, Italy, the Alps and Canada. It isn’t only about creating unique moments and unforgettable memories but a Club Med holiday makes one grow, learn and help become one’s best self.
What collaborations does Club Med have with the travel trade fraternity in India for incentives?
Club Med has appointed 9 preferred travel agents on PAN India basis to handle the bookings from TA fraternity. These preferred agents offer commissionable rates to agents. Besides commissions, Club Med also conducts familiarization trips and offers special rates for the TA fraternity showcasing the product and its experience emphasizing on its unique all – inclusive proposition.
What kind of MICE facilities do the resorts around the world offer? Which are the top 5 MICE resorts?
Club Med’s all-inclusive packages make our resorts a perfect venue for conducting conferences, meetings and events. Wide choice of accommodation, all-day dining, premium open bar and endless activities, event planning becomes more seamless with us. Reserve from any of our 220 meeting rooms and facilities across over 70 Club Med resorts, one will be spoilt for choice by the spacious meeting facilities and a wide array of inspiring venues for coffee breaks and sunset receptions. Our top three locations for meetings & seminars include Club Med Bintan Island, Club Med Bali and Club Med Cherating Beach caters to large events that also privatize the space for 2-3 days wherein a team of expert trainers are at the guests’ disposal. From intimate meetings and team-building retreats to large-scale national and global conferences with hundreds of delegates, Club Med can accommodate varied requests with one upfront price.
Please elaborate on the concept of G.O? How does it help?
The profession of a G.O was invented by Club Med 70 years ago and is the founding pillar of the brand. GOs (Gentil Organisateur) are the most precious assets of Club Med upholding the brand spirit and company values. GOs are always spreading joy and creating a bond with guests to ensure they have a memorable time during their stay at Club Med. Being responsible for the friendly atmosphere at Club Med, G.Os provide personalised service to guests and are part of the brand’s DNA forming an energy-packed team whose aim is to make a guest’s holiday exceptional. Their responsibilities could range from managing the front desk/reception to being a sports instructor; while some of them put up a splendid performance at entertainment shows, GOs would also dine with guests over meals. They are naturally attentive to guest needs, are available to them throughout their holiday and surprise them by offering tailor made activities. In addition to their professionalism and know-how, they are one of the many reasons that attracts guests back to Club Med. It is their kindness, conviviality, friendliness and humour that make GOs special at Club Med.