ON THE TOWN

Fresh New Campaign for Club Med as Company Looks to Grow in ON Market

Carolyne Doyon, President & CEO of North America and the Caribbean at Club Med and Vincent Giraud, Managing Director of Club Med Canada and North America Sales Operations, in Toronto. JIM BYERS PHOTO

Club Med has a new vision and a new campaign. They also see more opportunities in Canada's most populous province. Those were the key messages from top Club Med execs Vincent Giraud, Managing Director of Club Med Canada and North America Sales Operations and Carolyne Doyon, President and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean, at a one-on-one meeting with Open Jaw in Toronto in MAY.

Doyon said Canada is a key country for France-based Club Med, which opened its first Canadian resort in the Charlevoix region of Quebec in DEC, 2021.

And the brand thinks its unique approach to vacationing can have broader appeal in the Canadian market - specifically, expanding beyond its current focus on QC.

New Marketing Brand Identity and Campaign: "That's L'Esprit Libre"

“Club Med’s brand identity offers a truly unique differentiation in the market and speaks to its history of offering ultimate disconnection with a new campaign called ‘That’s L'Esprit Libre,’” company execs said.

“Taking inspiration from the original Club Med philosophy – creating simple moments of happiness – which proved transformative for generations of travelers for decades to come, the iconic lifestyle brand shares details about its evolution into providing a more premium, family-friendly, and eco-conscious experience. Club Med continues its strong ambition to be the most desirable holiday lifestyle brand offering a unique experience to guests,” Club Med executives said.

Gérard Blitz founded the first Club Med resort in the Balearic Islands of Spain in 1950 to give people a village to enjoy more moments of happiness and disconnect with an unlimited selection of outdoor activities, entertainment, and food & beverages.

Today, Club Med is taking elements from that original foundation, its French heritage, and its core essence – simplicity, epicureanism, nature and freedom – and using them to revive its personality into a premium all-inclusive brand that marries a luxury experience with simple moments.

The Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, Dominican Republic. Photo Courtesy Club Med.

"When the complexities of everyday life are removed so one can focus on special moments, like having ice cream for breakfast and putting on ski boots, or if your family vacation actually feels like a vacation; that’s L’Esprit Libre,”  Vincent Giraud, Managing Director of Club Med Canada and North America Sales Operations, told Open Jaw.

“Throughout our 73-year history, we’ve watched our brand redefine the all-inclusive concept and evolve into a product that prioritizes simple luxuries that are ultimately the most meaningful for travelers,” said Carolyne Doyon, President and CEO of Club Med North America and the Caribbean.

“Therefore, we find it important to look back on our roots and pay homage to what has made Club Med what it is today: delivering unique experiences in desirable locations with moments of togetherness, personalization, and opportunities to create lifelong memories to ensure our guests enjoy the feeling of being completely carefree. That’s L’Esprit Libre.”

As part of this brand evolution, Club Med is enhancing all consumer communication touchpoints with refreshed logos, iconography, and colour palette from its website and emails to the ‘My Club Med’ app and in-resort signage in order to reflect its new identity both in the resorts and outside.

Club Med is looking at a resort in the western United States, perhaps Montana or Utah, she said. A second resort in Canada also is a possibility down the line.

“Canadians tend to think of beach resorts for Club Med, but we have 17 resorts in the Alps, as well as resorts in Japan and China. One of our big competitive advantages is that we have these mountain resorts.”

Club Med Quebec Charlevoix. Photo Courtesy Club Med.a

Expanding Beyond the QC Market

Doyon told Open Jaw that Quebec residents account for roughly two-thirds of Club Med’s overall Canadian business. Ontario is in the 20-25 per cent range, but that’s something they hope to change.

“We believe there’s a lot of potential for several reasons,” she said. “One, Ontario is the economic heart of Canada. Also, a lot of studies say Ontario is ready for more Club Med. Ontario residents love all-inclusive, and they’re spending more and travelling for longer. They want to go to destinations where we have resorts.”

“We’re working with partners here,” Doyon said. “We want to grow our business with travel agencies.”

Club Med clients are valuable to travel advisors as they have a high return booking rate, she said.

Inflated travel costs are a big concern for some Canadians, but Doyon said an all-inclusive ski vacation can save a family of four up to $2,000, versus a la carte pricing.

“We’re very family oriented, but I’m not sure people understand that,” she explained. “We’re also very attractive for active couples, friends, and multi-generational travel.”

More Club Med Experiences to Choose From

Not only is there a new campaign, but Club Med continues to expand and improve. Doyon said Club Med will have 17 new resorts and major renovations to existing properties by 2025.

Club Med operates nearly 70 all-inclusive beach and mountain resorts worldwide and sees between three to five new resort openings or renovations per year that appeal to both luxury travel and family-friendly experiences.

The brand’s expansion has also continued to evolve into becoming more upscale with the recent launch of its Exclusive Collection portfolio, a collection of 5-star resorts, villas, chalets, spaces and a yacht around the world that include elements taking luxury to the next level, from artfully-crafted single plated dishes to larger high-design multi-bedroom suites

Looking ahead, Club Med will keep on expanding its Exclusive Collection portfolio by opening more Exclusive Collection properties and including Exclusive Collection spaces within its four-star resorts.

Club Med’s 2022 business was higher than pre-pandemic levels, and the first quarter of 2023 was their best first quarter ever.

Still, Doyon believes that “revenge travel” is easing.

“April seems like a peak to me,” she said. “I think it’s starting to dial back a little.”

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