Alpitour (Bravo Clubs) missed their restart due to technology

Alpitour has just celebrated its fifth anniversary. And after a fanfare start, with a turnover of more than 31 million euros in 2018/2019, the tour operator, a subsidiary of the largest Italian tourism company, saw its growth cut short by the outbreak of the health crisis. “An important moment”, says Patrice Caradec, “because this is the first crisis that Alpitour France has had to face”.

And what a crisis! Tourist activity on an international scale has been paralyzed for several months. During this very delicate period, Alpitour France benefited from the structural and financial support of its Italian parent company. “Without them we wouldn’t be here anymore,” says Patrice Caradec in a nutshell. In parallel to overcoming this crisis, the tour operator is working on a technological change that he believes has become essential: the migration to the dynamic package.

“The dynamic package makes the law”

” The back to back no longer exists. From now on, you need flexibility, on departure days, length of stay… It’s the dynamic package that rules,” says Patrice Caradec. In 2021, the Alpitour France team therefore asks its Italian hierarchy to propose the adoption of a solution that has proven itself in France: Orchestra. However, a company of the size of Alpitour in Italy prefers to develop this type of tool internally first, with the prospect of duplicating it in the Italian market in the coming months or years. However, Alpitour developers slip and switch given the time it takes to develop a tool as effective as the one offered by Orchestra.

Result: Alpitour France’s parent company approves the implementation of Orchestra for their French subsidiary. The decision will be made in early summer 2022, and the solution will be used in autumn. Despite this ignition delay, “since then, our sales have skyrocketed… From the first day of marketing, we sold in 24 hours what we previously sold in a week”, says Sébastien Mano, commercial director of Alpitour France. But the 2021/2022 financial year, which saw the recovery of many players in the industry, is already over. And it is not successful for Alpitour, which registers a turnover of 12 million euros.

It is therefore the transition from a traditional tour operator model with flight charters and hotel commitments to a more flexible operation based on the dynamic package that Alpitour France has not been able to carry out quickly. “2022 will have been a year of strategic transformation for us. We weren’t as quick as we would have liked, but now we’re on our way. And since the market launch of Orchestras Techno we have only accelerated.”

Techno brings the flexibility expected by the market

For the tour operator, it’s now “recapturing B2B”. Alpitour is now positioned as a player determined to regain the market share it gained in the first two years of operations. “We’re going into the 2023 season with 30 Bravo Clubs on medium and long-haul routes.” From Greece to Egypt via Spain, Kenya, Cuba, Madagascar and Vietnam. For someone who works “95 percent” with B2B, the balance between the two segments is essential “in order not to be dependent on seasonality”.

Regarding the products, the TO applies the formula that was launched on the French market as soon as it was launched. “Namely quality establishments, which are mainly located on the first line of the sea, with special care for the gastronomy and above all a real club product”, boasts Patrice Caradec. The man, who was one of the ardent defenders of the now-defunct Club label, imposes on himself a set of specifications that allow him to “claim a product sensitivity” not all club operators have. “Even though the market is changing… For example, it seemed unthinkable to me to sell an all-inclusive product without checked baggage just to get a better price. But that’s exactly what the market demands: flexibility. We can bring it with Orchestra,” says Patrice Caradec.

Goal: balance the balance in 2022/2023

Alpitour France goes one step further and even launches the “Sea Clubs” range, named after a product line that already exists on the Italian market. “We don’t invent anything here either. The Sea Clubs are more upscale clubs, more reserved for adults and teenagers, with a focus on well-being.” In this way, yoga coaches replace multisport entertainers and the tour operator can, according to Sébastien Mano, appeal to “a CSP+ clientele” who want to spend their holidays in a more discreet club atmosphere want to spend.

Ten Sea Clubs will be sold on the French market (Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Zanzibar, Balearic Islands, etc.) for the 2023 summer season, allowing Alpitour to offer around fifty products this year. With this portfolio, the tour operator is aiming for a turnover of between 35 and 40 million euros, i.e. a performance that is above that of 2018/2019. “It would also balance the books”…

Finally, and to boost a sales phase that has already started well, Alpitour is launching the “Bravissimo” offer, which grants a discount of up to 250 euros per person on a selection of products for reservations made before February 14, 2023. More information at the Bravo Clubs Pro Space.

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