Club Med partner travel agents remain important to the brand

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With ambitious expansion plans in place, Club Med will open five new resorts and complete five major renovations to its current resorts each year for the next five years. As the global all-inclusive resort brand continues to grow with resorts and ski resorts, Club Med wants its travel advisor partners to grow alongside them.

Club Med reported that it obtains approximately 40% of its bookings through travel agents; and the company has a dedicated commerce website with a generous loyalty program, plus discounts and fams.

Michelle Lardizabal, vice president of sales, Club Med US, spoke to Travel Market Report about the new tools the company is developing to help its advisor partners, and what the company has in store in the years to come.

Can you explain a bit how Club Med developed its new tool for travel agents, Club Med iFrame? What benefits will this bring to agents?
iFrame is a vertical content block that automatically updates with the latest Club Med offers and exclusive agent offers on a travel agent’s website. This digital tool, completely free, is managed by Club Med so that agents do not have to worry about manually updating the latest tips, offers or content. We designed it to better help travel agents because we value our relationship with our travel partners and want to help them succeed in growing their business.

What else is planned for Club Med travel partners?
We know that customers and travel advisors value expertise, and we also know that product knowledge is essential for travel advisors. To continue supporting our partners, we are developing a premier e-learning platform to be launched later this year. In the meantime, we are continually updating our travel advisor tools, such as resort factsheets, Google Street View, etc., all of which can be found on our travel advisor website called clubmedta.com.

What is the company familiarization policy and how can agents use it?
Being able to share a first-hand story about learning to sail or what you discovered while exploring a destination is key when selling travel. We have to paint the picture for the customer, which is why our fam experience is unique. We want advisors to arrive ready to try something new.

Discovering our villages and the activities we offer is a great way for Club Med and our business development managers to discover and share the Club Med experience. We dedicate time and resources to qualified advisors who want to grow their business with us, and we encourage travel advisors to contact their local Business Development Manager.

You have a lot of exciting properties opening up, including an upscale resort in the Dominican Republic. How can travel advisors grow their business in the luxury market?
Our Exclusive Collection is a luxurious experience, whether it’s an Exclusive Collection space within a resort or an entire Exclusive Collection resort, like our first to launch in America, Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda , at the end of this year.

For example, this could mean an existing customer upgrading their Club Med experience by staying at Jade (our Exclusive Collection space in Cancun); or working with a client for whom well-being and a healthy holiday are essential. the emerald jungle charming village within the Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda is ideal in this situation. Guests can start their morning with yoga in the trees, followed by paddleboarding, then enjoy a trip to the spa and relax at the beach in the afternoon with a good book.

What is Club Med’s axis of growth?
Club Med is the perfect fit for today’s upscale guest looking for unique destinations and activities, as well as an experience to take home – not just great photos. A perfect example is Club Med Cefalù, an Exclusive Collection resort. Sicily is a popular destination and Club Med Cefalù enjoys an ideal location on this amazing island, offering unique experiences to explore Sicily, relax or enjoy activities at your own pace.

At the same time, we’re catching on to the meetings and events trend, where companies want more than a meeting room and conference space. Companies and attendees want unique meeting spaces and team building experiences that only Club Med can provide. So for us, our growth is deeply rooted in our Club Med spirit and in delivering what our customers want – and that means continuing to find the best places around the world.

What future for Club Med?
In December 2019, we will open our first resort in the North American region in over 25 years; as well as our first Exclusive collection resort town of the americas, Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda. Located in Miches, an undiscovered region and secluded paradise located on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, this eco-chic haven will feature four distinct boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly concepts and reserved for adults.

And in December 2020, we will return to the North American market with an all-inclusive ski resort, Club Med Québec Charlevoix. Located in the Massif de Charlevoix region just one hour from Quebec City, the resort will be the first Club Med resort in Canada and will offer year-round activities in all seasons.

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