Welcome to the Club: Rachael Harding as New General Manager, Club Med Australia & New Zealand
Entering the brand at the heart of an exciting period of global expansion and record market growth, Club Med welcomes Rachael Harding as the newly-appointed General Manager for Club Med Australia and New Zealand.
Harding will lead the charge of rolling out Club Med’s plan to accelerate the ‘upscale’, ‘global’, and ‘digital’ focus of the group, a strategy which has already started to deliver peak profitability (+4.4% YoY), record global client growth (6.6%, their highest since 2000) and 85% of resorts now classified as 4 and 5 Trident (stars), compared to a decade earlier with 75% classified as 3 Trident.
Bringing two decades of industry experience both within Australia and internationally, most recognisably through her previous roles with The Travel Corporation, Harding plans to use her know-how to further evolve the Club Med brand in the Pacific and has already started strengthening relationships and strategizing with key trade partners, as well as being involved in key global initiatives that will accelerate the offering and growth in this region.
On her appointment, Rachael says, “I am thrilled to join Club Med and be part of such an iconic, pioneering brand. Over the years I’ve visited a number of resorts myself, both as a child and now with my own family – an incredible testament to the unique, all-inclusive experience that Club Med continues to evolve and offer families, couples and groups throughout its resorts. It’s exciting to lead our exceptionally talented team and work with our important trade partners in this next chapter of Club Med innovation and growth.”
Recently receiving three nominations at the 2018 Women in Travel Awards and taking home ‘Sales Woman of the Year’, Harding will ensure Club Med achieve their ambitious target of growing the Pacific market by 50 per cent over the next three years, following the success of another female Club Med General Manager, Madeleine Clow-Suares, who lead the region to a 50 per cent growth between 2014 – 2017.
“We are thrilled that Rachael has joined our Pacific team – a region that has seen some truly impressive results and we have no doubt she will further this growth trajectory throughout 2018 and beyond. Rachael is such a well-recognised and highly-respected travel professional, and we’re excited to see her passion for travel, and for the brand, continue the success of Club Med in the Pacific and globally,” says Xavier Desaulles, CEO East & South Asia and Pacific.
2018 has been an exciting year for the brand with the opening of the first 5 Trident resort in the Mediterranean, Club Med Cefalu in Sicily, as well as two more resorts to open this year with Club Med Les Arc Panorama in France and Club Med Marbella in Spain. This rapid growth aligns with the international develop strategy released earlier this year: three to five new resorts globally each year by 2020.
Club Med also recently announced their plans to eradicate single-use plastic items in all resorts globally, a new experimental concept bringing immersive experiences to the Maldives with Fusions by Club Med, plus several other major concepts in the works to be released soon.