Chinese tourists

Club Med says Chinese holiday tastes are changing

Tourists swapping sightseeing in multiple cities for longer stays in one location

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 February, 2016, 6:58pm
UPDATED : Friday, 26 February, 2016, 6:58pm

Chinese tourists are changing the way they take their holidays and swapping quantity for quality, a major resort company says.

Club Méditerranée president Henri Giscard d’Estaing said it had seen tourists swap sightseeing in multiple cities for a longer-term stay in one location.

“We are seeing a shift which is a real need for a holiday, especially for families ... this is a massive change and a great opportunity for Club Med,” he said.

Club Méditerranée, or Club Med as it is colloquially known, is a France-based resort company which prides itself on creating the idea of the “all-inclusive” resort.

It has about 80 resorts in many countries, including four in China, which Giscard described as its second-largest market.

We should have around 200,000 Chinese, Hongkonger and Taiwanese guests this year, or close to it
Henri Giscard d’Estaing

“We should have around 200,000 Chinese, Hongkonger and Taiwanese guests this year, or close to it,” he said. “So it’s a very important country and as I said it’s growing at double digits.”

It could become even more important this year as Club Med marks the first anniversary of its acquisition by Chinese company Fosun International.

Giscard said Fosun had been a member of the board for six years and a strong ally in Club Med’s original push into China.

“The fact that Fosun is our controlling partner is an opportunity for Club Med because it will allow us to accelerate our development in China and around China in destinations where Chinese tourists are going,” he said.

Club Med’s four operations in China include a ski resort in Yabuli, a beach retreat in Sanya and another resort in Guilin.

A spokeswoman said it was opening at least two new resorts in China, including a ski resort in Beidahu, Jilin.

In addition, another new Joy View by Club Med resort would be opened in Zhejiang province.

“We plan to open many more [resorts in China],” Giscard said. “We accept as a company, globally, to open between three to more than five resorts per year from 2018.

“We will open in fact in China three categories of resorts – ski, exceptional locations ... and beach resorts.”

Giscard said he was not concerned about an ongoing slowdown in the Chinese economy, saying it was a “necessary” transformation.

“From an economy driven by investment, public expenditures and pure manufacturing to an economy which has to be driven by consumption,” he said. “Good news! Holidays are part of consumption [and] I believe that the desire for holidays from Chinese in general will only increase.”