Delivering on a promise made last year to have an increased presence in southern Ontario, Club Med brought its 2014-15 season launch to Toronto this week, providing agents with a glimpse of what lies in store for the coming year.
The event, held at Toronto’s Studio Event Theatre for a small group of travel partners, highlighted Club Med’s international offerings and new developments for 2015. The company’s increased presence in Ontario has paid off, said Club Med Canada VP Carolyne Doyon, stating that Club Med has seen a 30 per cent increase in sales from the Ontario market, with 14 per cent of that number resulting from new clients.
“Last year we were here at about the same time and we told you that you’re going to see more of us,” said Doyon. “Well, we’ve come and we’re here to stay.”
According to Doyon, among those developments for 2015 are the extensive renovations that have taken place at many of the company’s resorts. The recently reopened Cancun resort now features an additional 60 ocean-front family rooms, a Petite Club Med kids’ club for toddlers, a new lounge and La Estancia, the resort’s new Argentinian restaurant. Renovations have also taken place at Club Med’s Columbus Isle property in the Bahamas (which reopens later this month), said Doyon, including a new restaurant and spa by L’Occitane (one of only three at Club Med’s North American resorts, she added).
Robert Ruttan, Club Med’s Business Development Manager, Centre and Western Canada, said that the company’s popular Punta Cana resort now boasts a three-acre golf feature (including a nine-hole course), as well as a dedicated Family Zone and Zen Zone. At the Sand Piper resort in Florida, Ruttan said that a new a la carte restaurant and fitness centre have been recently added to the property.
Outside of North America, Club Med’s Bali and Maldives resorts have also seen upgrades this year, with Bali receiving a new family space, pool and kids zone, and the company’s Kani resort in Maldives now boasts 52 villas, said Ruttan.
Doyon told PAX that while Canadians continue to vacation at Club Med’s beach resorts in Mexico, Florida and the Caribbean, she added that the company’s international presence - offering a wide range of vacation experiences across the globe – has much to offer Canadian travellers, including Club Med's ski vacation packages. The company is looking ahead to the December opening of the Val Thorens resort in the Swiss Alps, with an air-inclusive ski package offered from $2,259, said Ruttan.
Doyon said that looking forward, China is poised to become the company’s second-largest source of customers behind France, adding that Club Med will have five villages open in China by the end of 2015.
Club Med is also appealing to corporate travellers and group vacations, said Nathalie Fauteux, Club Med Business Manager, with a range of packages that include facility bookings, transfers and more. At some Club Med resorts, Fauteux said that the company offers a RAV package – Rent A Village – to groups.
Stephane Drouin, Club Med’s Director of Transport, said that Air Canada is now offering a number of new direct seasonal flights from Toronto to destinations with Club Med resorts, including Martinique (Tuesday service between Dec. 23 and April 30); Columbus Isle (Saturday service between Nov. 1 and April 30); and Ixtapa (non-stop Saturday service between Dec. 20 and April 11).