Lionel Benzoni

Lionel Benzoni

Director of Club Med Mauritius

Tourism / Mauritius

“The resort with the highest proportion of Chinese visitors in Mauritius”

From beach holidays in La Plantation d’Albion, to watersports holidays in Albion Villas, Club Med Mauritius offers a variety of getaways for travellers. Lionel Benzoni, director of Club Med Mauritius, tells us more about the group’s three resorts in Mauritius.

What makes Club Med stand out in Mauritius?
Club Med is a global company with a total of 68 resorts, a very strong development strategy and 20 new developments in construction now. In Mauritius, we are an upscale all-inclusive holiday service provider, offering a special spirit of hospitality in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. In Mauritius we have three resorts in total: Club la Pointe aux Canonniers, Club Med La Plantation d’Albion and les Villas d’Albion. In Club Med Albion, about 30% of our guests are Chinese, which makes us the resort with the highest proportion of Chinese visitors in Mauritius.

How does Club Med innovate its offerings?
Club Med has been the pioneer of premium all-inclusive holidays for 67 years. In 2004, we decided to focus on a strategy of value and not volume by adding a special informal, chic and convivial French touch. Now we have a beautiful estate of 40 luxury villas that include a butler service. Club Med is managing the rental of the villas for the owners, and we give them a percentage of interest as an IRS scheme. Right now, 60% of our guests in the villas are from China, which is a great success for us.

What in your opinions are the most pressing challenges that need to be addressed by the authorities?
The search for new markets is a priority for the Mauritius tourism Industry. Mature markets are performing well, and we are growing awareness in new markets, such as China, India and South America. The internationalisation of the destination is a big priority. One of my objectives as well is to promote the tourism variety of Mauritius. Beyond beaches and palm trees, Mauritius boasts a fabulous culture, as well as many outstanding landscapes and attractions.

What aspects of the Mauritian culture make it naturally appealing to Chinese tourists?
Chinese visitors to Mauritius are very active on discovering the island. Our Chinese Club Med guests can’t really be seen laying down the beach. Instead, they like to explore the island and our three resorts offer an astounding range of excursions.

What value can Club Med provide for Chinese tourists?
Five years ago, we deeply studied the Chinese market specifics, their expectations and needs, both outside China and outside Asia. Today, in Club Med Albion, we have a Chinese speaking staff from mainland China, Taiwan and Honk Kong deployed at the children’s club, at the guest relation’s office, at the bar, etc. It is very important to be able to welcome our Chinese guests with people from their own culture and language.