Club Med on track to hit web and direct targets

French tour operator Club Mediterranee is on track to achieve its target of securing 60% of sales through direct channels, with 20% coming from the web.

During the Winter 2009/10 season, web sales accounted for 16% of the total, compared with 14% last winter. In total, 56.3% of total sales were through direct channels compared with 55.6%.

“This trend is helping Club Med to optimize its marketing programs by strengthening its direct access to customers and enhancing its customer intelligence,” it said.

Club Med’s cost of distribution has fallen as a result, accounting for 18.7% of revenues this winter compared with 18.8% last winter. In winter 2007 the proportion was greater than 20%.

The interims announced late last week also revealed a significant increase in the number of Britons travelling with the tour operator. Last winter 14,000 Brits went on a Club Med holiday – this winter the number increased by one-third to 21,000.

The UK is now its third largest European source market after France and Belgium. Last winter Italy was the third most popular, but has fallen away from 18,000 guests in winter 2009 to only 11,000 this winter.

Looking ahead, Club Med said that by 2015 it wants to have 200,000 Chinese customers, compared with its projected total for full year 2010 of 40,000. A key part of delivering this aim is the launch of a dedicated Chinese-language web site,  slated to go live this summer.

Headline figures from the interims show a return to the black, with the tour operator posting a net profit of €3 million for the six months to end-March 2010 compared with a loss of €22 million last time. Sales were down 5.5% to €679 million with passenger number 4.5% down at 560,000.

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