Europe's bleak summer slows growth for Club Med
PARIS (Reuters) - Holiday firm Club Mediterranee said business slowed over the early part of the summer as the European debt crisis took its toll on the region's tourism markets and fewer consumers booked summer vacations.
However, Club Med, which has recast itself as an up-market holiday operator, said winter season bookings were higher than a year ago, supported by early booking promotions.
Club Med operates 75 resorts in 40 countries, ranging from Caribbean beach villages to Alpine ski locations.
Business volume grew 0.3 percent in the three months to end July compared with 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter, a slowdown Club Med tied in its statement to a "sustained deterioration in the European tourism markets"
With a market value of 454 million euros, the group competes with global hoteliers such as Intercontinental (IHG.L) and Accor (ACCP.PA). It also competes with tour operators such as global leader TUI Travel (TT.L) and Thomas Cook (TCG.L).
Bookings over the past eight weeks fell 5.4 percent in Europe-Africa but rose 21.6 percent in America.
Bookings fell 19.2 percent in Asia over the same period but this reflected the permanent closure of the Lindeman Island resort.
Excluding that impact, bookings in Asia were down 6.7 percent in the past eight weeks due to a phasing in bookings given the overcrowding of Asian villages in August.
Club Med's (CMIP.PA) fiscal year ends on October 31.
(Editing by Greg Mahlich) (firstname.lastname@example.org; +33149495432; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)