Expansion plans in three regions

TUI’s German club holiday business Robinson aims to expand in the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean under ambitious growth plans for the next five years.

Managing director Ingo Burmeister said the company is seeking properties in the three ‘bathing water’ regions as part of the strategy to expand the portfolio from 24 locations at present to 40, and to increase revenues by 70%, by 2020. This would represent about 10,000 additional beds. Robinson has already achieved double-digit revenue growth in the last four years.

Outlining his targets, Burmeister declared: “We want to return to the Caribbean.” Top of the wishlist is Cancún in Mexico, where the former Club Tulum was given up after the owner declined to invest in quality measures. Robinson is also seeking a club in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Cuba would also be a desirable location but the country is not yet ready for a Robinson club, according to the company chief.

In the Indian Ocean, Robinson wants to expand on Sri Lanka, is considering another island in the Maldives and is looking at Khao Lak in Thailand.

Among short- and medium-haul destinations, potential locations on Sal in the Cape Verde islands and on Tenerife are under investigation, clubs are planned on Sardinia and Ibiza for the first time, along with additional properties on Majorca and in Turkey.

In parallel, Robinson plans to gradually internationalise its activities as part of TUI Group’s overall strategy. Five clubs are already open for English-speaking markets, which is going well, Burmeister said. Additional clubs in long-haul destinations would enable the club holidays operator to target new source markets. However, he stressed that Robinson “will not abandon its German-speaking roots” and there will never be more than three languages in a club.

Burmeister presented the expansion plans at a press conference at the newly-opened Club Djerba Bahiya in Tunisia. The renovated 336-room property is targeted at families in particular. Last month Robinson announced it will open a second club on the Maldives next year. The Robinson Club Noonu, one of three ‘feelgood’ clubs, will have 60 ‘water villas’, 50 beach villas and 40 two-storey villas on the unpopulated atoll.