Southeast Asia’s Club Meds mull reopenings?

SINGAPORE, 13 September 2021: Club Med resorts in the Maldives, Japan and China have reopened, but it will take longer for the group’s resorts in Southeast Asia to roll out the welcome mat for leisure travellers.

Providing an update on the status of Club Med resorts in the region, regional brand and social communication associate director Abigail Lam told TTR Weekly the group’s resort in Phuket is unlikely to open this year under the island’s sandbox model.

“Guests that we usually have are from countries where borders are still closed, such as Australia, South Korea and Singapore,” she explains.

The group is looking forward to opening Club Med Cherating in Malaysia soon and Club Med Bintan and Bali in Indonesia at the end of the year if travel borders start to ease in this part of the world.

Reopening the all-inclusive resorts will depend on rules allowing vaccinated travellers to visit without quarantine and other schemes such as sandboxes.

Phuket’s sandbox gains mixed reviews. It certainly drew around 29,000 visitors since its launch on 1 July, but that was way below the government forecast of 120,000 for the first three months. The main deterrent for travellers remains the threat of a lengthy and expensive quarantine when they return home. However, vaccinated travellers have the run of Phuket island for 14 days without quarantine, although they needed to undergo four PCR tests during their stay.

Owned by China’s Fosun International, Club Med has 70 resorts worldwide, with most European resorts opening for the summer months.

In Asia, the situation is more restrictive for hotel groups to reopen resorts. The seven Club Med resorts in China have reopened, followed by three in Japan and two in the Maldives.