Club Med Turks and Caicos to Reopen Jan. 31; Company to Expand Ski Product

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The Club Med Turkoise in the Turks and Cacios will remain closed through January 31, 2018, following damage the destination sustained during Hurricane Maria, Travel Agent learned at a recent Club Med media event on the company’s ongoing expansion.

“I think people are going to be very happy with what’s going to happen to that property,” said Xavier Mufraggi, president and CEO of Club Med North America and Caribbean, hinting at some big plans for updates to the property while it is undergoing repairs, although no details are available at this time.

At the event Mufraggi and Club Med President and CEO Henri Giscard d’Estaing talked the company’s ongoing emphasis on ski travel and family vacations, which includes a number of new resorts on the horizon.

Over the course of Club Med’s history, the company has shifted from an approximately even split between family travelers, couples and singles, to doing two-thirds of its business with family travelers and one third with couples and singles, d’Estaing said. That shift has made the convenience factor an important part of Club Med’s product, which is why ski travel is becoming so important.

“If you go to a hotel or an Airbnb with the family to ski, the experience will be very different,” explains d’Estaing. “Ski holidays are expensive and complex, so our role is to make them the best value for money.”

Currently, one-third of Club Med’s resorts are devoted to ski travel, said Mufraggi, and the company is looking to add more – and one area on the list is North America. The company is also reaching out to Millennial ski travelers, which is having an impact on the experience available at the company’s ski resorts.

“Most [Millennials] want an alpine, mountain experience,” said Mufraggi. “It’s about the food aspect, local flavors – it’s not only snow.”

Millennials – who are now 30 – 35 years old -- are also increasingly traveling with families in tow, making the convenience factor increasingly important.

“They have a family, they have money to invest, and they say, ‘I don’t know why when we go to a Caribbean all-inclusive it’s so easy, but when we ski abroad it’s so complicated,” said Mufraggi.

Looking ahead, Club Med’s newest ski resort, the Club Med Samoens Grand Massif, is set to open December 17 in the Grand Massif ski area. Billed as Club Med’s new flagship in France, the four-trident resort will have a number of options for family travelers, including 30 suites and 45 chalet apartments among its 336 guestrooms. Dining options will include a main restaurant with four themed areas, a gourmet lounge with Alpine views out a glass façade, and a kid-friendly “DIY Dinner” restaurant that allows families to create their own dinner from options such as soups, mountain specialties and international cuisines. Families will also be able to take advantage of childcare, a dedicated restaurant and ski room for children, as clubs for children 3 years of age and younger (Baby Club Med and Petit Club Med) require an extra fee.

In total, Mufraggi said that Club Med is following a “7 – 7 – 10” expansion plan over the next three years, with seven resorts set to debut in 2017, seven for 2018 and 10 for 2019.

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