In the early 1950s, when the world was still recovering from the Second World War, the idea of a fun-filled holiday in the Mediterranean sunshine must have seemed like a dream for many.
The vision of Gerard Blitz, a Belgian-Jewish water polo player who’d fought in the French Resistance during the war, was of a bohemian holiday village where playing sports and dining in groups would break down social barriers, enabling war-weary guests to rediscover themselves and recharge their batteries.
On establishing his first camp in Alcudia, Majorca, he described the special spirit he was trying to create: “Our purpose in life is to be happy. The place to be happy is here. And the time to be happy is now.”
It was, of course, the birth of Club Med. Which has since grown from a single tented camp where guests helped with the washing up, to an international giant of a resort operator, owned by Chinese company Fosun.
I experienced Club Med for the first time this week, on a fam trip with Advantage members and board directors, and was fascinated to learn about the company’s origins and to see its emphasis on enjoying the “now”.
It’s been an incredibly difficult year for the travel industry, as well as for the world at large. From terrorist attacks and economic uncertainty to the refugee crisis and fears of a Grexit, there have been countless challenges, and we’ll be waiting to see what impact the most recent incident will have on the January peaks.
But as Blitz’s motto reminds us, holidays have a unique ability to create happiness. And how lucky we all are to work in the industry that makes that possible.
In this final edition before Christmas, you’ll find a review of the biggest events in travel in 2015 and a lighthearted take on the Heathrow and Gatwick saga. We’ll of course be keeping you up to date with news on ttgmedia.com, and your next print edition will arrive on December 30, with a special look ahead at what’s new for 2016.
From all of us at TTG Media, we hope you have a fun-filled, restful Christmas.
And above all, to borrow a phrase from Gerard Blitz: be happy.