31 Oct 23

PODCAST: Insights into Club Med Tinley

In the latest Rainmaker Marketing podcast, Stefan Botha, Director of Rainmaker Marketing, welcomes Trenley Tilbrook, Development Manager at Collins Residential, to discuss the significance of Club Med Tinley in South Africa. They shed light on how this resort will impact the economy and the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal from international tourism, job creation to the scale of the development. Collins Residential, who are the development consortium of Club Med Tinley, has brought us many significant developments throughout KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa that spans across tourism, commercial and residential.

Unveiling Club Med Tinley

Club Med Tinley is a ground-breaking R2.2bn project, recently unveiled to the public. Its magnitude and significance makes it the largest tourism development in South Africa since Sun City. Tilbrook mentions that this journey started around 2015, 2016 with Collins Residential identifying and introducing a catalytic development that could really help drive the economy of KwaZulu-Natal.

“We were looking at head offices, relocations, industrial, and tourism. There are areas around the world that start as a tourism destination and ultimately grow and become a residential and lifestyle destination. The little town of Ballito was a holiday village, and we could see how it has transformed over a few years. The question then became – who do we approach?”

Club Med has a history of pioneering resort developments in unknown areas, acting as catalyst for transforming these into new and popular leisure destinations.

However, this process didn’t take place overnight. There was quite a process that was followed, trying to engage with Club Med, entering into an MOU, doing some market operational feasibilities back in 2015, identifying a site, getting environmental authorisations in place, and then around 2018 to 2019, they took it to market to try and find a suitable developer. The Collins Group took ownership of the project around 2019, and have been driving it ever since.

Why KwaZulu-Natal?

club med south africa concept

KwaZulu-Natal was chosen as the destination for Club Med over Cape Town due to its proximity to an international airport, warm weather, warm sea water, and the unique blend of beach and bush experiences that no other Club Med offers. Club Med Tinley stands out as the first Club Med resort worldwide to combine both a beach and bush experience, allowing travellers to enjoy diverse landscapes within close proximity.  The resort’s unique beach and bush offering could change the movement of international tourists in Africa, diversifying their experiences beyond traditional destinations like Kruger National Park.

There is a criteria and formula that Club Med adhere to when selecting their new destinations. With 70 resorts around the world, Club Med look at a couple of things, such as being located within 40 minutes from an international airport, as the resort attracts around 70% of international guests. The international airport link is quite important, especially as they typicall attract 24 000 international tourists per annum with a further 11 000 domestic tourists.

Club Med Tinley is set to stimulate international tourism and job creation that will benefit local communities and various industries, such as guided excursions, lifeguards, game drives, and more. Club Med’s model includes empowering locals to work internationally, fostering skill transfer.

Scale of the Project

Club Med Development Plan for South Africa

“We’ve been engaging with the local authority and have ensured all our approvals are in place. We are still finalising the building plan approvals,” continues Tillbrook.  “When you start to break this development down, you only understand the magnitude of it. The enormity of the Club Med Tinley is reflected in its 342 rooms, 64 villas, restaurant for 800 people, spa, gym, gourmet restaurant. When you further break up these different buildings up, there are 51 different buildings. Collins Residential are excited to manage approximately about 37 000m2 of GLA.”

The project is on track for ground-breaking in January towards February, with earthworks and building plans progressing well.

Club Med Tinley is a testament to the dedication and hard work of many professionals in the region. It promises to bring a transformative impact on South African tourism, the local economy, and create thousands of jobs.

As South Africa eagerly anticipates the Club Med Tinley’s grand opening, the future of international tourism and economic growth in KwaZulu-Natal looks brighter than ever.

Sign up to our newsletter

Be the first to receive an exclusive invite to our property webinars or new development launches. Also receive unique insights on market trends and investment tips.