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KUANTAN: Club Med Cherating, the first all-inclusive resort in Asia, which has been operating in the state capital since 1979 is set to undergo refurbishment works. Newly-appointed Club Med Singapore and Malaysia general manager Olivier Monceau said there had been talks with investors on the refurbishments which would certainly be a major milestone for the resort here. "It is still too early to speak on when and how it is going to happen but knowing that the train station (East Coast Rail Link) and airport (Kuantan International Airport) is built nearby, I think it would be timely for the investors to consider the refurbishments plans. "Road transport from Kuala Lumpur takes about three and a half hours to reach the resort which is quite a distance so the major changes in transportation mode to arrive by plane or train will be a great opportunity for visitors both local and overseas. The faster we activate the refurbishments plans the better," he told reporters during an interview session at Club Med Cherating recently.

On concerns that Club Med Cherating was up for sale, Monceau said just like any other big companies or brands there were sometimes such talks. "It should not be a concern as we have been here since 1979 and we are not planning to move out from here(Kuantan). As I mentioned earlier, the airport is something everyone will have in mind (mode of transportation to lure visitors) so we will remain here," he said.

In 2021, it was reported that the resort was up for sale and the operator was looking for a strategic partner to take over the 85ha property. Meanwhile, on the impact on tourist arrival following the Covid-19 pandemic, Moncea said the Malaysia market had grown swiftly and surpassed their expectations last year. "The occupancy rate in Club Med Cherating was at 75 per cent and our main objective this year is to leverage on last year's experience to accelerate further ahead. "Club Med Cherating was fully booked on six occasions last year… it is known as renting a village where the whole place is booked. Companies brought their teams together allowing all their staff to connect with one another under one roof," he said.

Monceau said the 300 rooms resort located in a tropical forest facing the South China Sea offered a beautiful nature retreat allowing guests to be in their own private space. "We are looking at the future confidently as Club Med here has created and introduced new ideas over the years. We have the Kids Clubs which caters for kids from the age of 4 months to 17 years old where they have activities and facilities of their own to keep them occupied," he said.

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