The French brand Club Med has brought its all-inclusive luxury resorts to China.
Club Med emerged in the 1950s as a pioneer in the all-inclusive resort industry: every part of the experience, including food and travel, is included in the price. Though the company has been relatively slow to enter the Chinese market compared to other luxury hotels and resorts, it has already opened two resorts in China, the latest of which is in Guilin, a scenic city currently up for nomination as a UNESCO Heritage site.
According to Olivier Horps, the chief executive of Club Med’s Greater China region, the company has been extremely selective in choosing appropriate sites for their resorts in the country.
“I’ve visited myself probably more than 100 sites in China by now, so we’re still very selective and want to bring the best of Club Med to China,” Horps said in an interview with Yahoo Singapore. “Some big hotel chains are more (building up) as fast as they can… whereas we go completely the other way by saying we want to be in the most beautiful natural places, and preserve them, and don’t build them so much; and we don’t care if we’re a bit far away from the main cities.”
Club Med’s existing resorts in Guilin and Yabuli have been extremely profitable for the company, and Club Med Dong’ao, which openspartially in June, is expected to take the company’s Chinese presence to new heights, with its super-premium-luxury suites that will feature free dining, champagne, and personal trainers, among other amenities. Horps also stated that another beach resort and a ski resort are also in the works.
Horps says that the market for the resorts is small but lucrative.
“We’re talking about the top two per cent of the richest Chinese people, and within them, which is still a big group, people who are well-travelled, who are educated and want to have a type of European-lifestyle holiday in beautiful nature,” Horps said. “I think you can find that when you go to that niche, you have some of these people in (all) the big cities of the world.”
image credit: club med dong’ao