The history of Club Med
Club Med has come a long way since its founders pitched some tents on a beach and offered cash-strapped, war reconstruction-weary Europeans the world's first all-inclusive vacation:
The Club was started in 1950 by former Belgian water polo champion, Gérard Blitz. The first village opened on the Spanish island of Mallorca. The original villages were, by concept, very simple with members staying in unlit straw huts on a beachfront, sharing communal washing facilities. Such villages have been replaced with modern blocks or huts with ensuite facilities.
- 1950 - Club Méditerranée is created by Gérard Blitz as a non-profit organization. The first Village, Alcudia, opens in the Balearic Islands.
- 1954 - Gilbert Trigano joins the Club Med team and becomes Chairman and Managing Director in 1963
- 1956 - Club Med opens its first Alpine village at Leysin, Switzerland. Ski School Director, James Couttet sets the benchmark for ski instruction.
- 1957 - Club Méditerranée is converted into a limited liability company incorporated in France.
- 1963 - Gilbert Trigano becomes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The Company pursues its development, mainly in the European market.
- 1966 - Club Méditerranée is first listed on the Paris Bourse.
- 1967 - Club Med opens its first Mini Club Med for families with children.
- 1968 - The first Village opens in the French West Indies at Fort Royal in Guadeloupe, providing access to the American market.
- 1973 - A sales organization is set up in Japan.
- 1970 - Hot on the heels of Jean-Claude Killy's triple Olympic Gold Medal performance at Grenoble, Club Med opens luxury hotel villages in Wengen, Switzerland, Chamonix and la Plagne, France.
- 1979 - The Village portfolio expands in Asia, with Cherating in Malaysia and Château Royal in New Caledonia, and in South America, with Itaparica in Brazil.
- 1984 - American and Asian operations are combined in Club Med Inc. and 27% of the new company’s capital is floated on the New York Stock Exchange.
- 1985 - Opening of the Farukolufushi Village in the Maldives and the Phuket Village in Thailand.
- 1989 - The Opio Village opens in the hills above Nice.
- 1990 - Launch of Club Med 1, the world’s largest sailing ship.
- 1992 - Club Med 2 is launched and the Columbus Isle Village in the Bahamas opens.
- 1994 - Club Med celebrates its twenty millionth customer
- 1995 - Serge Trigano is named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
- 1997 - The Company changes to a corporate governance structure comprised of a Management Board and a Supervisory Board. Philippe Bourguignon is named Chairman of the Management Board.
- 1999 - Acquisition of Jet tours, France’s fourth biggest tour operator.
- 2000 - Club Med’s 50th anniversary
- 2001 - Acquisition of Gymnase Club, which later will become Club Med Gym.
- 2002 - Henri Giscard d’Estaing is named Chairman of the Management Board.
- 2003 - Opening of the Trancoso Village in Brazil and the Palmyre-Atlantique Village in France.
- 2004 - Opening of the first 3-in-1 Village in Marrakech, showcasing Club Med’s upmarket, friendly, multicultural positioning.
On October 19th, the group Accor becomes the major shareholder of Club Med and Club Med trims its roster of villages, revamps its image, builds new villages, remodels the remainder and goes after a more multicultural, slightly more upscale clientele
- 2005 - Club Méditerranée changes to a corporate governance system based on a Board of Directors, under the chairmanship of Henri Giscard d’Estaing. The Peisey-Vallandry Village in the French Alps opens and the Boucaniers Village in Martinique is completely rebuilt.
- 2006 - Reopening of the Cancún Yucatán Village in Mexico, upgraded to 4 Tridents, and the Kani Village in the Maldives. The La Caravelle Village in Guadeloupe is renovated.
- 2007 - Opening of our first 5 trident village, La Plantation d’Albion, situated on the Mauritius island.
- 2008 - Sale of Jet tours and Club Med Gym. Realignment focusing on the core business, upscale Villages.
- 2009 - Strengthening of the capital base through a €100 million capital increase and ORANE bond issue. Closure of Club Med World. Inauguration of the first villa in La Plantation d’Albion, Mauritius.
- 2010 - Chinese group Fosun acquires a stake in the company. Disposal of the Sestriere Village. Launch of a new €80 million OCEANE convertible bond maturing in 2015. Laying of the cornerstone at Valmorel. Inauguration of Sinai Bay and Yabuli Villages.