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Club Med bet on China

The French Club Med benefit meanwhile, five new villages in China. Knack Weekend visited one of them on the Chinese island of Hainan.

© Wim Denolf

The fast-growing Chinese middle class and its appetite for luxury-holidays can also feel at Club Med. According to CEO and chairman of the board of directors Henri Giscard d’estaing is China, with 200,000 customers per year, now already the second biggest market for Club Med, spread across five continents, nearly seventy villages operates in more than 26 countries.

Skiing, nature and beach

© Wim Denolf

In particular, the demand for holidays in their own country is large in China. “Do not forget that going on vacation for the Chinese a totally new phenomenon,” said Giscard d’estaing. Thanks to the support of Fosun, the Chinese investment group of billionaire Guo Guangchang, who in 2010 became the capital of Club Med and the beginning of 2015 the control over acquired, following are the openings in the people’s Republic of each other quickly.

Club Med operates now there are five holiday villages. The first of these was opened in 2010 in the popular ski resort Yabuli, in the northeast of the country. Three years later Club Med Guilin, located in a green valley in South-Eastern China. One of the peculiarities of this village is its sculpture garden, which is more than two hundred sculptures that counts. Also beach destinations instead, however, are not forgotten. Opened Club Med in 2014, a village on Dong’ao Island, a green and white beaches dotted island in the South China Sea, a stone’s throw from the airports of hong Kong and Macau.

Active

The well-heeled clientele from hong Kong is also one of the target groups of Club Med Sanya, the resort town on the tropical island of Hainan that Knack Weekend. It was in last autumn, was officially opened and offers all of the familiar Club Med-ingredients: an all-inclusive resort, extensive international buffets, a spa and gym, singing and dansentertainment in the evening and activities from windsurfing and sailing to water aerobics and the flying trapeze.

© Wim Denolf

That large choice of activities is hugely popular with Chinese vacationers, as it turns out: to relax and sunbathe is hardly done (to the beach and pool there are the biggest part of the day even leave), holidays should be especially actively spent. And with the children, what the local Gentils Organisateurs, or G. O.’s mainly attributed to the eenkindpolitiek, which in 2015 was converted into a tweekindpolitiek. “Children are holy”, as is our on-the-spot told, “and are therefore not quickly be entrusted to the professionals in our Kids Club. But children do, of course, like nothing better than to play with other children. So, the parents reluctantly still take a look.”

Mahjong

In the buffets, the emphasis, however, on the regional Chinese cuisine, while guests are out of the ordinary restauranturen be able to make use of a noodlebar. Other curiosities are electronic mahjongtafels for lovers of the eponymous Chinese board game, and karaoke rooms. Or how the Chinese middle class points with European luxury and French “art de vivre”, but also its own vrijetijdsgewoonten cherishes.

An interview with Henri Giscard d’estaing, CEO of Club Med and president of the board of directors, you will find this week in Knack Weekend.

Click here to view all photos of Club Med Sanya.

Wim Denolf

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