New UK Club Med boss issues digital warning to agents, but wants to help

New UK Club Med boss issues digital warning to agents, but wants to help

The new boss of French all-inclusive pioneer Club Med has warned agents who do not embrace digital sales will not be around within 10 years.

Speaking to Travolution sister publication Travel Weekly, Estelle Giraudeau, who heads up both the UK and Scandinavia markets, said she was seeking to increase direct online bookings to over 20%.

But she said she was prepared to work with agent partners on digital marketing, even helping with the cost of Adwords campaigns on Google for target resorts.

Giraudeau said: “Currently, 17%-18% of our bookings are made direct online and we believe that will go to 22%.

“But we also believe that agents could be more digital. Consumers’ behaviour is changing. We want to act like a consulting company for our trade partners.

“We want to make sure their websites are more efficient and ensure our brand is featured on their sites properly.

“Also, when we put [marketing] money on the table, we need to make sure that some is dedicated to online traffic.

“We want to push our French resorts, for example, so we’d be happy to do a specific campaign about France and share the cost of AdWords on Google with agents.

“We are also working on tech projects so that agents can, at some stage, sell us through their own websites. That will happen in the coming months.”

Giraudeau said agents wouldn’t be around in five to 10 years if they didn’t focus on their digital offering.

“I don’t say this to frighten them – I want us to help,” she added. “I want us to do it together because, at the moment, most could be better in terms of digital.

“It’s about us being constructive, so we all grow. To make a boundary between digital and sales is wrong.

“Digital is now the way of selling – you can’t not accept it. It’s not just about marketing – it’s a sales channel.”

To read the full interview with Giraudeau go to the Travel Weekly website.

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