Club Med, SA-HK join hands to develop Hong Kong’s Olympic ski team, broaden ski appeal
Global premium ski resort leader Club Med partners up with Ski Association of Hong Kong (SAHK) to nurture the city’s Olympic ski team and let more Hongkongers discover the joy of skiing.
The Club Med – SA-HK’s partnership aims not only to further broaden ski’s appeal among local youngsters but also to identify and develop talent for the Hong Kong’s Olympic Ski Team to compete in China’s 2022 Winter Olympics. Two interschool ski trips and competitions already took place at Club Med’s ski resorts in China and Japan.
The trips and competitions allowed the youngsters to explore their potential and motivated them to make progress in skiing. Some were later assessed and selected by Club Med’s professional ski instructors to join the Hong Kong team, says Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med.
Club Med Hong Kong’s General Manager, Sebastien Portes, says once Club Med and SA-HK have put together the Hong Kong team, training will be carried out in Club Med’s resorts all over the world so that the athletes can develop their techniques and adaptability to different slopes and reach Olympics’ qualifying standard. “A total of 150 Hong Kong kids between 12 and 15 are expected to participate in this year’s interschool ski trips and competitions. Participants who pass the test will be assessed and some will be selected to be team members,” Portes adds. The stringent assessment is conducted in collaboration with a French ski training specialist and former world champion. Some team members will be referred by SA-HK. For instance, 12-year-old Hong Kong student Chole Wong joined the team after she was assessed in Club Med’s Les 2 Alpes by Club Med’s ESF instructors.
Chairman of SA-HK, Edmond Yue, believes the Club Med and SA-HK partnership will create great synergy.
Club Med’s has an impressive track record of promoting sports. “In terms of the number of people trained by Club Med, we operate the world’s largest training schools for tennis and golf,” d’Estaing notes. “Among countries that do not have ski facilities, we have successfully developed a cross-country skiing athlete to represent Ethiopia in the Winter Olympics.”
In parallel to developing Hong Kong’s Olympic team are Club Med’s intensifying efforts in letting more Asians experience its unique premium all-inclusive ski holiday. “Ski and snow-related sports are increasingly attractive to people in Asia Pacific. The holistic experience combines captivating scenery, fresh air, sports, unique gastronomic joy in mountainous terrains as well as the warm hospitality of Club Med’s GOs (Gentil Organisateur),” d’Estaing says. “Our unique all-inclusive formula is hassle-free: it organises everything, including special equipment, passes and training for the families so that more can experience the fun of skiing. We are developing an App for guests to book in advance all equipment, boots, skis, passes and get them ready in their private lockers before their arrival.”
d’Estaing is confident that Asia will become a new ski hub because the development of snow sports-related holiday will be massively enhanced with the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea in 2018 and in China in 2022. Club Med is rapidly expanding its ski resort network to tap this fast growing market. Club Med’s third ski resort in China, Thaiwoo, in one of the locations for Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, will be opened soon. It will also unveil its first ski resort in Korea, located in Pyeong Chang. Meanwhile, the brand new Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, Japan, jointly developed with the Fosun Group, and Grand Massif Samoën Morillon, France, will welcome guests soon.
Club Med’s long-term strategy centres on the aspirations of Asian consumers for enhanced immersive ski experience. “Among Hong Kong visitors to Club Med’s resorts, 20 percent go to ski resorts in the Alps in France, Switzerland and France,” says Portes. “Once people discover the fun of skiing, they will be eager to elevate the experience by skiing amidst different scenery and taking the challenge of different terrains and higher mountains.”
Club Med operates nearly 20 ski resorts in Europe, according to d’Estaing. “We are the only group with a portfolio of winter sports resorts in Asia and Europe. We aim to establish as the leader in Asia, then we’ll offer clients the opportunities to enjoy skiing in the Alps, where some of the world’s best ski resorts are located.”
Style is well integrated in Club Med’s holistic ski experience. For instance, the new Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido’s tastefully appointed interiors and furnishings were designed by renowned French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. Club Med invested over US$120 million on the Grand Massif to ensure the resort is as functional as it is stylish and comfortable. Club Med’s ski holiday also lets guests explore each location’s unique gastronomic and wining varieties. “Our premium all-inclusive formula represents great value for money accessible to a huge number of families in Asia,” Portes notes.
To make inroads in the market in Mainland China, Club Med leverages the expertise of its partner Fosun. “Apart from investing in us, Fosun has also given us a lot of advice on market development. Our plan is to open 20 resorts in China, including three ski resorts,” d’Estaing says. “Together with Cirque de Soleil, which was acquired by Fosun, we are working on some projects and looking at the possibility of joint development in the digital domain. We want to develop in cooperation with Fosun a common platform on which we can recommend to the China market diverse types of activities and entertainment.”
Winter Early Bird Offer
Club Med provides even greater value for money for its customers this winter: an early bird promotion offering up to 40% discount is available to those who book their packages before September 30, 2017. This special promotion is valid for departure from November 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018.
Visit Club Med Website or call hotline: 3111 9388 for more details.