Club Med aims to tap on the booming Indian market
Holidays must be easy and carefree especially when travelling with family and kids and understanding this requirement, Club Med was founded by Gérard Blitz and Gilbert Trigano. Pioneering the idea of the ‘all-inclusive’ holiday concept, Club Med has been reinventing the alchemy of happiness since 1950.
India is a key market for Club Med within the Southeast Asian region. Vijay Sharma, General Manager, Club Med Southeast Asia who is responsible for India, Singapore, Malaysia and emerging markets, spearheads Club Med’s sales and marketing strategies to drive growth and revenue across the region. In an exclusive interview with Travel News Digest, Vijay Sharma speaks about the importance of the Indian market and various other prospects.
- What are the promotional and marketing strategies for the Indian market?
At Club Med, we do things differently as compared to other hospitality brands. Our strategy this year is to increase visibility and preference through targeted PR actions, tackle E-distribution to get online exposure, adopt a highly-targeted online media approach, maximise free traffic coming from earned channels and increase B2C exposure through trade events.
- What are the new properties Club Med is currently promoting?
In India, we have been promoting selected destinations to a niche market based on the purchasing power of the people and easy flight connectivity from key cities. Our Indian Ocean resorts in Maldives and Mauritius along with Southeast Asian properties in Bali, Phuket and Bintan are currently the primary focus.
- Which are the top 3 Indian markets for Club Med?
Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are the top three markets for Club Med as most of our target audience based in these cities are looking for an experience rather than just a hotel stay during a vacation.
- How is the response from the Indian market and how are you addressing the Indian audience?
The Indian market is evolving quite fast and its aspirations are getting closer to all the millennial families needs: that include exotic experiences, family time, relaxation from a very busy life and seamless holiday. Club Med is the perfect product to answer to these needs and is a renowned brand that keeps innovating in this field. Hence, we have garnered great interest from Indian families appreciating the experiences we offer. Our top agents have been selling Club Med for a few years and we hardly receive any complaints from Indian guests. On the contrary, once travellers understand the brand’s DNA, they are hooked and want to come back to another Club Med location.
So far, our primary medium to address the Indian audience is through our network of selected travel agents. A Club Med holiday is not like any other hotel, hence finding the right audience and explaining the concept to them can’t be made without the help of our loyal partners. This is also the reason why we think our guests are our best advocates and sharing their experience especially on social media is a great way to explain the product. Hence, we used two hashtags #TailorMedHappiness and #TailorMedExperiences to gather all content from Indian guests so everyone can see what it is like to holiday at Club Med.
- Are you looking at tapping any new market in the near future?
As more and more Indian travellers are seeking adventure during their vacation, we strongly believe in the future of snow holidays market in India. Also, good connectivity to Europe will definitely open a new market for the winter holidays.
Club Med is the largest player offering snow holidays worldwide with resorts in Europe, Japan, China and soon in Canada. The brand’s all-inclusive promise applies for snow destinations as well. It includes ski lessons and ski lift passes within the hotel stay package making it a very attractive deal and a hassle-free family-friendly experience for all.
- How important are the following segments for Club Med – Weddings, MICE and Bloggers/Influencers?
Club Med’s all-inclusive packages make our resorts a perfect venue for conducting conferences, meetings and events. Wide choice of accommodation, all-day dining, premium open bar and endless activities make event planning even more seamless with us. We have unique properties that can cater to large events, even privatize the space for 2-3 days where a team of expert trainers are at disposal.
With the pace of advancement in technology, we have been noticing that news gets consumed first through the internet and social media plays an important role in creating awareness about any exotic location. Understanding this trend, we have been undertaking blogger engagements and exclusive FAM trips for influencers to reach our target audience via digital mediums.