Where was the last place you travelled - and where would you like to go next?
I was very lucky that my last international trip was to London and Paris.
When borders re-open, my next venture will be to a more remote and exotic destination. I would love to get back to the Indian Ocean and rediscover The Maldives and visit our new Seychelles property.
Why did you take up this particular role?
It is kind of a long story. Club Med has always been a very large part of my career. I worked for the company in my earlier days in travel across varying departments – reservations, finance, operations and group sales. The brand literally runs through my veins, so when this opportunity came up, I was ecstatic to have the chance to return home.
My experience in recent years in the space of MICE and leisure travel is extensive and this role covers both sectors, giving me the opportunity to drive the team across the segments that I love most.
Tell us one thing that’s coming up at Club Med that’s got you excited.
Definitely the amazing destinations we have in our pipeline of new openings.
Club Med Seychelles is the first cab off the rank and due to open in Q2 this year; following from here we’ll see Club Med’s first resort in Canada– Club Med Charlevoix – a trans-seasonal resort that opens its doors for the 2022 ski season in December 2021; and in the not too distant future we’ll also see Borneo and South Africa.
They're all great destinations for FIT travel and the incentive market.
What are your short and long term goals for trade and MICE? How important are the trade and MICE markets for Club Med?
Club Med is well established in the trade sector. We have ensured we are a top brand of choice for the trade and are pioneers in the concept of all-inclusive travel.
My goal in the short term will be to expand our focus on certain territories and bring our exciting upscale product to market - our Exclusive Collection by Club Med.
Long term, we continue to support and prioritise our partners whilst always looking for new avenues to broaden our distribution. With sales already thriving for 2022, we are excited to feel the momentum once more.
MICE is a little different to trade. Club Med has been involved in the segment of MICE for the past 20 years. The all-inclusive product is not traditionally a product of choice when placed up against hotel competitors however, in the last few years we have had huge success with our concept of Rent a Village. This concept is a total buy-out of the entire property which provides a corporation or association with an “access-all-areas” pass. It offers the client great flexibility when planning events and is extremely cost-effective to do so. I will definitely be focusing on developing this product in the short and long term, as well as bringing to market our Exclusive Collection range of properties for top-end international incentives.
What makes a great hotel or resort?
Atmosphere, no doubt. Whether it is the design concept of a hotel, the personalized approach to service or a destination that offers a WOW from the resort beachfront, these factors all add to creating an atmosphere which in turn will leave a client wanting more and leaves them with everlasting memories.
It’s not often a company can strike the right balance between safety and atmosphere, and I am proud that Club Med has managed to do so in the current climate.
How has Club Med fared through COVID-19?
Whilst Australia has been locked out from the rest of the world, Club Med globally has been thriving where there are domestic resorts and markets.
Our Villages in Japan, Maldives, Malaysia & China to name a few, have enjoyed high occupancy with domestic markets or welcoming visitors from countries who have bilateral agreements.
It has enabled us to ensure a smooth rollout of our safe together program and gear up slowly for more volume and other resorts openings when the time comes. If only we had a domestic resort now!
What’s your most memorable travel experience?
Hands down it was my trip to Kenya. I was hosting a famil and had seven top incentive agents with me.
We spent three days at Governor’s Camp at Maasai Mara. I have never been anywhere that was so far from the rest of the world. Total remoteness.
Getting up close and personal with the Big 5 was just incredible. However, I cannot finish without noting the extraordinary island experiences I have had.
I was lucky enough to discover and explore Bora Bora many years ago, but there is nothing in the world as close to paradise as The Maldives, with its crystal clear waters and incredible dive sites. I can’t wait to get back there to visit Club Med Kani and Finolhu.
What's your top travel tip?
You can never have enough shoes!
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