Alright everyone, put your hands up and say happy birthday to Club Med as it celebrates 65 years of innovation that dates back to April of 1950 when, to all intents and purposes, the all-inclusive holiday concept was born.
The story began with a pioneer, Gerard Blitz. In April 1950, he founded an association named Club Mediterranee, offering a new kind of vacation to “develop interest in outdoor living and sports.” The first Club Med resort opened in Alcudia in Spain. The amenities of this new leisure centre were simple, with tents as accommodations, but the clients loved the friendly atmosphere and the demand rose rapidly. That’s when, Gilbert Trigano, provider of those tents, joined the adventure.
Blitz explained, “This idea gave birth to a spirit… our purpose in life is to be happy. The place to be happy is here. And the time to be happy is now.”
As a true creator of happiness, Club Med invented a new form of shared experience and a unique style of holiday: all-inclusive holidays and resorts in the world’s most beautiful locations, where Gentils Membres (GM) or kind members, can recharge their personal batteries through contact with nature, sports and like-minded people, served by Gentils Organisateurs (GO) or kind organizers.
In 1955, Club Med began to expand with the opening of a resort in Tahiti; in 1956, it opened a mountain village that offered all-inclusive ski vacation.
In 1965, the opening of Club Med Agadir marked a shift in Club Med’s history, with the opening of its first “built” summer resort – as opposed to tents.
By 1967, Club Med’s first Gms had grown up, got married and had children, so Club Med developed a new offer for kids, welcoming a new generation to its Mini Clubs.
In his search of the ideal vacation, Gerard Blitz opened a new dream destination: Guadeloupe, in 1968, expanding the company’s horizons to include a new American clientele. In the early 1980s, Club Med took on the world with new resorts in Bora Bora, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico, Bahamas, and the Maldives.
In 2004, Club Med refocused its business on the upscale segment of the world tourism market to become the global specialist in friendly, upscale, multicultural all-inclusive holidays. In order to ensure that its resorts were seen as exceptional destinations, Club Med entrusted its new spaces to reputable architects and designers. The two and three Trident resorts closed progressively. And new sites open, selected for their beauty and their authenticity.
Today, Club Med has more than 65 all-inclusive resorts worldwide, and 13,000 GOs representing 100 different nationalities and speaking 30 languages.
It has added resorts in locations such as Val Thorens Sensations, in the French Alps and adding innovations, renovations and expansions in the coming year in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
In March 2015, following the takeover bid of Gaillon Invest II, led by the Chinese group Fosun and its partners, Club Med has been delisted from the Paris Stock Exchange. Fosun has been a long-time partner, sharing the strategic vision that Club Med implemented over the past decade.
Currrently Club Med offers over 65 all-inclusive resorts around the world, including 20 ski resorts in the Alps.