Donal O’Sullivan, Cruise World; Michelle Davies, Club Med; Evelyn Lee and Jeffrey Liu, both Midday Travel, at The Glasshouse, Auckland Donal O’Sullivan, Cruise World; Michelle Davies, Club Med; Evelyn Lee and Jeffrey Liu, both Midday Travel, at The Glasshouse, Auckland

All about growth now from NZ, booking portal set for upgrade, says Club Med

Redefining the Club Med brand, changing perceptions and raising awareness across all trade channels in New Zealand were key objectives of a visit to Auckland last week.

The company also took the opportunity to update trade on new product – specifically in Borneo and South Africa – and celebrate the milestone of being back to 2019 levels for 2024 bookings.

Michelle Davies, general manager Australia and New Zealand, says that 2025 is already showing more growth – up some 35% on 2024 sales year to date.

‘We’re no longer in rebound mode, now we are all about growth out of this market.’

Davies says New Zealanders continue to prioritise their holidays.

‘However, we are acutely aware of the cost of living challenges. That’s where an all inclusive offering aligns well. There are no hidden surpirses.’

Davies reiterates the importance of Club Med’s relationship with the trade and says its online booking portal, which receives particularly strong usage from home based agencies, will be upgraded this year. The relaunch is likely to be around  July.

‘We’re confident that this will demonstrate extra capabilities, in addition to the call centre operating Monday to Saturday.’

The company has wrapped up its ’highest calibre’ visit yet to New Zealand following a retail / leisure trade event that generated some 130 registrations, meetings with brand heads, plus a media breakfast and exclusive lunch for incentive and meeting practitioners.

Lisa Bacon, head of sales trade and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) for ANZ says some agents here still think of Club Med as a three-star product.

‘We are having huge success with our Exclusive Collection and out biggest growth has been in our range of villas and chalets,’ she says.

‘Also, we have exclusive collection spaces that are ideal for incentives and others looking for complete privacy and an elevated experience.’

The new Borneo resort, in Sabah, will likely be on sale from October and be open mid-2025. The South African property out of Durban will include not only a beachside resort but also a lodge for a safari base. More details will soon be announced, but it is expected to open 2026-27.

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