Big Interview: Club Med’s Anne Browaeys and Nicolas Bresch

Europe and Africa chief and UK and Nordics managing director reveal plans to change Britons’ perceptions of the operator

Club Med is preparing to launch a campaign aiming to change the perception that it is primarily a snow holiday company, as well as to secure bookings for its renovated cruise ship.

The all-inclusive resort specialist has reported an “extraordinarily” successful seven months between June 2022 and January this year, with UK sales up 60% compared with the same period in 2019-20.

MoreThree days of discounts as Club Med puts winter 2023-34 on sale

Club Med reports record winter sales launch [February 23]

New Club Med UK boss named [September 22]

Half of Club Med’s sales come through the trade and Anne Browaeys, chief executive for Europe and Africa, is keen to thank agents for their contribution to the operator’s “record” start to the year.

UK perceptions

“We didn’t expect the strength of sales we have seen in the past six months and we’ve managed to win market share off some of our competitors,” she says.

“We’ve also had newcomers that are now booking to come again.

“We want to thank our trade partners for the fantastic job they have done because gaining new clients means agents have had to educate and convince them to book with Club Med and, clearly, they have been doing that tremendously.”

However, Browaeys adds that although UK sales have been at a record high – with the UK becoming the operator’s second-largest source market for snow holidays for the first time – the ratio of bookings between snow and sun holidays is 70:30, the reverse of Club Med’s target.

“If you ask UK clients if they know Club Med, they always say ‘yes, it is a ski company’,” she says.

“We need to change that perception and to shout louder about our summer destination offerings.

“The sun potential in the UK is so great and we are not taking advantage of it. Sun diversification is a top priority for us in the UK market.”

To support its plan to increase summer sales, Club Med is launching a campaign from April to showcase its most popular summer destinations among UK travellers, including Turkey and the Dominican Republic.

The operator has increased its UK trade team from six to nine people since the start of the pandemic to provide more support for agents and has recently updated its booking platform to include training materials to help agents sell.

In addition, the operator plans to invite agents on a series of fam trips to sun resorts to build relationships and educate them on the product.

Trade ‘key’

Browaeys’ colleague Nicolas Bresch, managing director of Club Med UK and Nordics, adds: “We can give thousands of presentations or speeches, but the best way for agents to understand what we have to offer is for them to experience it themselves, so we will be investing in fam trips this year.

“We don’t have a limit on the number of agents we can invite – we could host hundreds if we believe in their potential.

“We won’t hesitate to send as many as we think is necessary.

“We must support the trade as it will be key to our success.”

Cruise ship

As part of its upcoming campaign, the operator plans to push its cruise ship, Club Med 2, in the UK market for the first time.

The 182-cabin sailing yacht returned to service in January after spending three months in dry dock while its two restaurants, bar and sports facilities were renovated.

“Currently, Club Med 2 is all but unknown in the UK market and UK sales account for only 0.1%, so we need that to change,” Bresch says.

“We know British clients are really attracted to cruises and we wanted to wait until we had renovated the yacht before we began advertising it to ensure it is as luxurious as possible.”

MoreThree days of discounts as Club Med puts winter 2023-34 on sale

Club Med reports record winter sales launch [February 23]

New Club Med UK boss named [September 22]

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