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Hundreds of the travel industry’s most forward-thinking executives will gather for our first Skift Forum Asia in Singapore on May 27. In just a few years, Skift’s Forums — the largest creative business gatherings in the global travel industry — have become what media, speakers, and attendees have called the “TED Talks of travel.”
Focusing on top marketers, strategists, and technologists in the APAC region who are defining the future of travel, Skift Forum Asia 2019 will take place at Equarius Hotel in Singapore.The Forum will feature speakers including CEOs and top executives from AirAsia, Booking.com, Genting Cruise Lines, Jumeirah, Oyo, Rakuten, and many more. The following is part of a series of posts highlighting the speakers and touching on issues of concern in Asia and beyond.
While Chinese conglomerate Fosun has attracted plenty of attention in Europe and North America for its acquisitive streak over the past few years, what’s perhaps less well-known is what it has actually done with the companies it has bought or invested in.
Rather than holding the likes of Club Med and Thomas Cook at arms length, it has integrated them into what it calls its Foliday (short for Fosun holiday) ecosystem, which it hopes will capture the attention of travelers.
Fosun Tourism Group CEO and Chairman Jim Qian will be speaking at Skift Forum Asia in Singapore on May 27.
Skift Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Skift: What is the thinking behind your new resort strategy?
Jim Qian: The current Foliday ecosystem is divided into three parts: resorts; tourism destination development, operations and management; services and solutions in various tourism and leisure settings.
In these three parts of the business under the brand synergy and empowerment, existing brands will generate new vitality, and new brands will be able to grow rapidly. On the resource side, we already have limited and scarce global tourism resources, such as ski resorts in the Alps and Hokkaido, and seaside resorts in Cancun and Phuket. Our tourism destination projects have landed in Sanya, Lijiang and Taicang, and will continue to expand in the future.
The Foliday ecosystem created by Fosun Tourism is itself an innovative model covering the entire industry chain from product end to client end.
Skift: How many do you expect to build?
Qian: In our resorts business, we have 67 resorts across the world; in the tourism destination business, Atlantis Sanya was launched a year ago with great success, the other two projects in Taicang and Lijiang are under construction.
Skift: How important are the Club Med and Thomas Cook brands to your plans?
Qian: Our brands, Club Med and Thomas Cook have global stakes. Our strategic partners, such as the parent company of the Atlantis brand, Kerzner International, the world’s leading toy and entertainment company, Mattel, and world-renowned performance provider, Cirque du Soleil, can make our ecosystem stronger and richer.
Skift: Is the idea of a Foliday starting to catch on with Chinese travelers?
Qian: China’s tourism market is also undergoing a transformation and upgrading stage from sightseeing tourism to leisure tourism, and there is a huge room for growth in the future.
As the leader in the leisure tourism industry for families worldwide, Fosun Tourism’s vision is to bring greater happiness to global families. Our mission is to establish Foliday as a universally recognized brand and to create a new Foliday lifestyle, that is synonymous with a superior, tailor-made, family-focused leisure tourism experience, which is exactly Chinese customers demand today.
Photo Credit: A Club Med banner blows in the wind on the dock at the Club Med Beldi vacation resort in Beldibi, June 22, 2009. Fosun has integrated its holdings, including Club Med and Thomas Cook, into its Foliday ecosystem. John Schults / Reuters