CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is ramping up its expansion with a target to double its portfolio to 160,000 units globally by 2023.
Hot on the heels of its recent signing of nine management contracts in China, Ascott has clinched contracts to manage another four properties with 1,200 units in new cities such as Malacca in Malaysia and Davao in the Philippines while deepening its presence in Guangzhou in China and Cebu in the Philippines.
CEO Kevin Goh said: "With the global economic upswing and international travel arrivals hitting a new high, we are confident of exceeding 80,000 units this year. We see immense potential to scale up to 160,000 units worldwide in the next five years."
Besides accelerating our growth through management contracts, which currently make up 60 per cent of our portfolio, we will continue to seek opportunities for strategic investments in strong operating businesses that will widen our customer reach and give us a competitive edge, stated Goh.
"We will also grow our franchise business, particularly through our Citadines and Quest brands, and form strategic alliances with leading companies that have a pipeline of properties for us to manage," he added.
Goh said the focus will be on key gateway cities in its two biggest markets, China and Southeast Asia, as well as existing and emerging markets, including across the Middle East.
"Expanding our global network will allow us to leverage greater economies of scale and strengthen our earnings. To position Ascott for the future, we will harness digital innovation and technology to enhance customer experience. For instance, our coliving brand, lyf, targeted at the millennials will provide guests with a complete digital experience," he added.
With its latest deals, Ascott has entered new attractive investment destinations Malacca and Davao. Its Somerset property in Malacca, Ascott’s largest property to date, will benefit from an upcoming free economic zone and sea port.
Meanwhile, the foray into Davao will anchor Ascott in the Philippines’ third fastest-growing economy which also serves as the economic and tourism hub of Southern Philippines, said the top official.
Ascott’s fifth property under its lyf brand will be in Cebu, the top investment destination in the Philippines outside Metro Manila. With Ascott also increasing its presence in Guangzhou, it has reinforced its leading position as one of the largest serviced residence operators in China.
"The Chinese are our top customers at our properties globally and continues to be the fastest growing segment in 2017, growing at 33 per cent year-on-year," stated Goh.
"Besides opening more properties in China, we have stepped up our online marketing efforts tailored for the China market to better capture the Chinese travellers’ demand for properties both in and outside of China," he added.-TradeArabia News Service
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