Resort specialist Club Med and tour operator Wendy Wu Tours have joined forces for the first time to offer exclusive ‘tour and stay’ family packages in China.
Billed as an industry first, the packages offer a combined itinerary to see the key highlights of China as part of a private tour and enjoy the family-focused activities offered by Club Med’s all-inclusive resorts.
Estelle Giraudeau, Club Med managing director UK and Scandinavia, said the company wanted to be ahead of the game to capture demand for China as it grows in popularity with UK families, particularly with teenage children.
“The family market is travelling further, so we believe China will be one of the considered destinations for British families,” she said. “At the moment they don’t consider China because they think it’s complicated and don’t know what they’ll get there.”
She admitted the UK family market was unlikely to go to China purely for an all-inclusive stay and would want to see sights not necessarily in easy reach of its resorts. The company chose to approach Wendy Wu Tours, a specialist in China, despite its link with Thomas Cook through Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, which owns Club Med and has invested in Cook.
“We are fully aware that we cannot expect a family to travel a long way to go to an all-inclusive resort in China because they want to see more, so we approached Wendy Wu. Wendy Wu is a specialist in China tours while Thomas Cook is strong in packages,” she said. “The Guilin resort offers breath-taking scenery and a totally natural pool and is well matched with Wendy Wu’s tours. This is the first step but we have high ambitions and if this does well we will develop more tours with other resorts.”
Wendy Wu Tours is already well established as a touring brand in China but is looking to grow its sales in the family market.
“More and more families are looking for new experiences that include fun and adventure and give their children a wider understanding of the world around them,” said Lawrence Hicks, managing director. “We are really excited about this partnership.”
The companies are offering three tours, which feature highlights including the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden city, and stays at Club Med’s Guilin resort in the Yanshan District. Activities offered from the resort include a Li River cruise and rafting on the Yulong River. There is also an option to extend the holiday with a beach stay at Club Med’s Sanya resort.
The 13-day Charming China tour leads in at £2,990 per adult and £1,990 per child including flights and most meals and includes Beijing, Xian as well as Guilin. The 15-day Panda Discover Tour costs from £3,490 per adult and £2,390 per child and features Beijing, Xian, Chengu and Guilin as well as a trip to a panda reserve at Dujiangyan. The 15 day Vibrant China tour to Bejing, Xian, Guilin and Shanghai costs from £3,690 per adult and £2,490 per child.
The holidays can only be booked through Wendy Wu Tours and will feature on both companies’ websites.
Club Med, which was bought by Chinese conglomerate Fosun last year, already has five resorts in China and is targeting 20 by 2020.