Brendon King Brendon King

Club Med's plans for NZ trade

A visit by key executives, the naming of a brand manager for this market and a revamped travel agent portal are all evidence of Club Med’s new emphasis and refreshed approach to the New Zealand trade.

Brendon King is now brand manager for New Zealand, having been in a BDM role with the New South Wales market in recent years, while Michelle Davies has been appointed general manager Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. Both were in market this month along with Lisa Bacon, head of sales – trade and MICE.

Discussions with brands and individual agents covered topics ranging from the luxury Exclusive Collection, new and refreshed resorts, the Safe Together Programme, ski opportunities and more.

Bacon says the new travel agent portal will launch in New Zealand on 23 May and will, for the first time, include an on-line booking tool.

‘This means that agents will have Club Med at their finger tips, not requiring a call to Australia – though of course that option remains.’

Club Med receives 60% of its bookings through the travel trade in New Zealand and Australia.

She says another factor making life easier for agents and clients right now is that full travel insurance, with Covid included, is part of Club Med packages. The insurance applies as long as the client is staying at a Club Med property.

Davies says the objective with the New Zealand trade is not so much about awareness, but more about education.

‘Some of the perceptions that still exist don’t reflect the company’s evolution and the new developments that have taken place. It’s time for both consumers and the trade to think again about Club Med.’

She says an example of the enhanced portfolio includes Club Med’s Exclusive Collection – covering Finolhu Villas in Maldives, two resorts in Mauritius, Club Med Seychelles, Cefalu in Italy
and more.

Club Med opened four new resorts in 2021, and plans 17 more plus 14 extensions and renovations by 2024.

Davies says that forward bookings for Club Med’s ski resorts in Japan are ‘huge’, despite the destination’s existing restrictions on travel..

‘Agents and their clients are calling for Japan. Many New Zealanders are avid skiers and they have not been able to access overseas skiing for more than two years. They want quality snow and Japan can certainly provide that.’

Club Med’s Peace of Mind Policy makes it safe to book now as it provides options to rebook, take a credit or cancel if affected by border closures, quarantine or Covid related outbreaks.

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