Last year pushed the travel world to pivot to meet the needs of Canadians who have been yearning for safe and reliable vacations. 2020 was a challenging time for the travel industry, but also provided valuable insight into travel opportunities for the year ahead and beyond. Club Med, the pioneer of the all-inclusive vacation model, shares insights from the previous year and predictions for what travel will look like in 2021.
“In 2021, Club Med is continuing to respond and adapt to the changing expectations of travellers looking to reconnect with their passion when the context will allow it,” said Amélie Brouhard, YP Managing Director, Club Med Canada. “By continually and thoughtfully updating our travel offerings, we are able to align with market trends to provide premium experiences while ensuring the safety and relaxation of our guests. In a year that was filled with uncertainty, we are well-positioned to share our learnings from 2020, as well as our predictions on what travel trends we’ll see take off in the year ahead.”
Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda
Spacious resorts with vigorous safety procedures offer more room to roam
Travellers continue to take increased safety precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19 and expect the travel industry to do the same. On average, Club Med resorts cover more than 50 acres, with low-rise architecture (less than 3 floors) and are integrated into and respectful of the surrounding natural environment. Worldwide, Club Med’s Safe Together program has a range of health and safety protocols that include protective face coverings for staff, hand sanitizer available throughout the resort, deep cleaning and frequent sanitizing of surfaces and facilities, social distancing, capped resort capacity, temperature checks on arrival and periodically during the stay as well as doctor or nursing staff available 24/7 at the resort.
Club Med resorts are POSI-Check certified (recognition from Intertek Cristal for the prevention of the spread of infection) and operate with a reduced capacity to enable social distancing, creating a sense of privacy and freedom that high-rise towers or cruises do not provide. Following the request of some countries asking travellers to present a negative PCR test before boarding flights back home, Club Med is bringing COVID-19 testing to most of its resorts. Club Med reminds travellers that all bookings include its Emergency Assistance Program to provide all guests with coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19. The Emergency Assistance Program covers all guests travelling until December 31, 2022.
Technological innovation is a pillar of the Club Med brand and travel in 2021 will be more touchless than ever. The Skift Research Global Travel Outlook 2021 report highlights that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies in the travel industry, with contactless tech offerings at the forefront. A recent study showed 64 percent of travellers agree that technology will be important in controlling health risks when travelling and 63 percent say that accommodations will need to use the latest technologies to make travellers feel safe. Club Med’s Easy Arrival contactless check-in/check-out prepares guests to fully enjoy vacations immediately. From signing up children for childcare services to booking ski equipment ahead of time, everything will be ready for guests as soon as they arrive at the resort. Club Med’s Happy Digital initiatives help clients guarantee a seamless travel experience.
Remote work is here to stay and the distinction between business and leisure travel will continue to blend into one another
Travellers have shown an appetite for escaping the pandemic restrictions at home and extending their stays at all-inclusive resorts where they can work or study remotely while also relaxing. According to the Skift report, the pandemic and the rise of remote work will likely further blur the lines between business and leisure travel. Club Med is adapting to this trend by setting up Workation, a hybrid stay between working remotely and a vacation with the all-inclusive service à la Club Med. This remote working option has been available at Club Med Sandpiper Bay since last October and will soon be available at Club Med Cancún delivering adults premium wi-fi, dedicated workspaces (or free to set-up beach or poolside!) and printer access. Club Med also offers complete childcare services for a variety of ages so parents can work while knowing their kids are safe and cared for.
The pandemic has spurred increased domestic travel with Canadians looking for shorter escapes closer to home. In relation to tourism flow, the Skift report hypothesizes that outbound spending will instead be used domestically. Club Med has continued its mountain resort expansion and is eager to offer Canadians an escape close to home as of December 3, 20201. Located just outside Quebec City in Le Massif de Charlevoix region, Club Med Québec Charlevoix is Club Med’s first four-season mountain property. The resort features an unparalleled waterfront panorama in a preserved natural landscape, ideal for an amazing ski-in ski-out experience and a full roster of activities, both inside and outside. Designed with packages, services and accommodations for families, couples, singles, friends and Meetings & Events groups, the 4-Trident resort features 302 rooms including an Exclusive Collection space with 25 suites. Club Med anticipates that approximately 50 percent of the clientele will be Canadians, and bookings are now available.
Club Med Québec Charlevoix
The pandemic has made many people aware of impacts on the environment and local communities. A recent study found that more than 69 percent of travellers expect the travel industry to offer more sustainable options. Avid globetrotters are quickly getting behind the ‘go green’ initiative in tourism decisions and Club Med is proudly supporting the cause. Tourism has a growing impact on the environment, which is why Club Med has always devoted itself to sustainable practices. In 2018, Club Med launched its Bye-Bye Plastics program, and is on track to ban single-use plastic products from bars, restaurants and rooms in 2021.
Club Med’s Happy to Care details its various commitments including building resorts that blend in harmoniously in exceptional sites, allowing people to rejuvenate through contact with nature, being vigilant with energy and water savings, promoting renewable energy sources, controlling water treatment and recycling techniques, while also engaging in local solidarity, and giving major importance to the development and fulfilment of its employees and the local community. Club Med Québec Charlevoix is on track to be North America’s first hotel structure to comply with strict BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Method) environmental standards and is diligently working towards sustainable operations management of the resort in order to become Green Globe-certified by opening day.
A new destination to discover
Yearly trends rely heavily on travel partners working together to produce experiences and moments that will be cherished by guests for a lifetime. Now more than ever travellers are looking for new and secluded destinations and this year Club Med will open Seychelles on a private island in the Indian Ocean where social distancing is a way of life.
As the world continues to navigate what travel looks like during these times, Club Med is honoured to be part of an industry that has been able to pivot and provide solutions for those looking to travel safely and responsibly.
Flexible travel options
As the industry moves into 2021, travellers continue to seek more flexibility and assurance when looking to make future bookings. To add more peace of mind Club Med continues to enhance and update its offerings:
- Free Cancellation Policy: For all stays booked until December 16, 2021, Club Med clients can cancel their booking for free up to 31 days prior to departure (and 61 days instead of for stays during blackout dates). Clients will receive a full refund of the land portion and air portion of their stay if flights were booked with Air Canada, Air Transat or WestJet.
- Emergency Assistance Program: All guests travelling before December 31, 2022, will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19.