If Club Med has its way, the "all-inclusive" vacation should no longer conjure up images of tacky beach clubs and all-you-can-drink-and-eat buffets.
For nearly 70 years, Club Med has been the pioneer of the all-inclusive resort, but the storied company isn’t content to simply rest on its laurels or continue doing what it’s been doing since 1950.
That much was clear when Club Med CEO of its Europe and Africa business units, Sylvain Rabuel, sat down for a conversation with Skift co-founder and Skift Table general manager Jason Clampet at the Skift Forum Europe in Berlin in April.
“We are bringing something new in this sector of the market,” Rabuel said, describing how Club Med has evolved over the years.
“We are the most affordable offer in the upmarket and luxury segment today where, in the past, we were the most expensive option in midmarket — which is an uncomfortable place,” he said.
And in competing with upmarket and luxury brands, Club Med is also finding that today’s travelers have changed in terms of the types of all-inclusive vacation experience they have. He said that today’s Club Med guest is “more international than before” with two-thirds of guests coming from outside of France, and the majority of which are multigenerational families who want to be “active vacationers.”
“Worldwide, I don’t think our clients are thinking, ‘I want to do an all-inclusive,'” he said. “They want to do winter sports, for example. They think in terms of activities and experiences about what they want to do.”
And while some people may perceive all-inclusive resorts to be synonymous with beach vacations or ones where guest have limited opportunities to be active and to leave the property and explore local destinations, he said that has never been the case with Club Med.
“It was always about leaving things, sharing things and not being in a hotel,” Rabuel said. “It’s always about delivering experiences that are all inclusive to empower people to have special moments. … The all-inclusive formula gives you the guarantee to control that experience.”
You can watch the entire interview above, or consider reading more coverage of Skift Forum Europe.
At Skift Forum Europe in Berlin, Europe’s travel leaders gathered for a day of inspiration, information, and conversation.
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Photo credit: Club Med CEO of its Europe and Africa business units Sylvain Rabuel spoke at Skift Forum Europe. Skift