Ascott Opens Record 7,500 Units And Signs Over 14,100 Units In 2019 To Boost Fee Income
Secures 25 new franchise and management contracts offering over 3,400 units across Asia Pacific and Africa
Singapore - CapitaLand's wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has stepped up its global expansion in 2019 with a record opening of about 7,500 units in over 40 properties across 30 cities and 13 countries. Ascott has also signed 25 new franchise and management contracts with more than 3,400 units, closing the year with the signing of over 14,100 units across about 100 properties. This includes its acquisitions of two properties in Sydney, Australia this year through its real estate investment trust (REIT), Ascott Residence Trust1, and its private fund Ascott Global Serviced Residence Fund.
Mr Goh said: "Besides investing through our own capital and joint ventures, one of our key growth strategies is to expand through our REITs and funds. With the combination of Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust1, we will have the largest hospitality trust in Asia Pacific with an asset value of S$7.6 billion3. The new stapled securities under the enlarged trust, Ascott Residence Trust, are expected to begin trading on 2 January 2020 and this will allow us to further scale up our fund management platform. As a sponsor of the enlarged trust, Ascott will benefit from the trust's stable yield and growth as well as earn fund management fees. On the other hand, the enlarged trust will benefit from Ascott's sponsorship and pipeline of quality assets, as we continue with our proactive capital recycling and investment strategies."
The 25 new properties across 19 cities and nine countries marked Ascott's foray into new cities such as Vung Tau in Vietnam and Abidjan in Ivory Coast. Ascott has also expanded its presence in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia; Chengdu, Guangzhou, Harbin, Nanjing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Wuhan in China; Batu, Cikarang, Jakarta and Yogyakarta in Indonesia; Penang in Malaysia; Manila in the Philippines; Singapore; and Bangkok in Thailand. The properties are set to open in phases from 2020 to 2025.
Among the 25 properties are two Citadines properties secured under Ascott's strategic alliance with Nasdaq-listed Huazhu Hotels Group (Huazhu) and Huazhu's subsidiary CJIA Apartments Group. To date, 10 properties have been signed under this partnership.
Ascott has signed a management contract for its first Préférence hotel in Bangkok; expanding its brands under TAUZIA Hotel Management (TAUZIA) to Thailand, beyond Malaysia, Vietnam and TAUZIA's predominant Indonesia market. Ascott has also sealed management contracts in Indonesia for TAUZIA's brands with FOX Lite Imogiri Yogyakarta and POP! Batu. Ascott, which has a majority stake in TAUZIA, has secured a total of 12 properties under TAUZIA's brands this year.
Quest Apartment Hotels (Quest), which Ascott has a majority stake in, opened its first property in Europe in September 2019. The opening of Quest Liverpool City Centre in the United Kingdom marked Quest's expansion outside of Australasia, where Quest is the largest serviced residence provider.
Mr Goh said: "Through Ascott's strategic investments in Quest Apartment Hotels, Synergy Global Housing, and TAUZIA Hotel Management in recent years, we have boosted our global cross-selling and distribution network. At the same time, we have leveraged Ascott's global network to bring Synergy and TAUZIA to international markets. Quest has also extended its franchise business from Australasia to Europe. In tandem with growing market demand, we have also expanded our offerings of lodging products to cater to more demographics and diversify our revenue streams. This year, we opened lyf Funan Singapore, our first coliving property under our lyf brand designed by millennials for the millennials and millennial-minded. We also opened Citadines Connect Sydney Airport, our first Citadines Connect brand of business hotels with selected services."
Since the launch of its loyalty programme Ascott Star Rewards this April, direct bookings and revenue from online bookings by members have quadrupled and membership has tripled. Ascott will look at introducing more benefits to the loyalty programme to reward its customers.
To support its fast-growing business, Ascott has also been transforming its digital ecosystem to boost revenue growth, operational efficiency and customer experience. Among its digital initiatives include adopting a new revenue management system as well as updating its backend global property management system to a cloud-based, highly scalable system.
About The Ascott Limited
The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 180 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.
Ascott has about 70,000 operating units and over 48,000 units under development, making a total of about 118,000 units in over 700 properties.
The company's serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott The Residence, he Crest Collection, Somerset, Quest, Citadines, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Citadines Connect, Fox, Yello and POP!.
Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.
Ascott's achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2020 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; World Travel Awards 2019 for 'Leading Serviced Apartment Brand' in Asia, Europe and the Middle East; Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2019 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; Business Traveller China Awards 2019 for 'Best Luxury Serviced Residence Brand'; and TTG China Travel Awards 2019 for 'Best Serviced Residence Operator in China'. For a full list of awards, please visit https://www.the-ascott.com/ascottlimited/awards.html.
About CapitaLand Limited
CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand) is one of Asia's largest diversified real estate groups. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, it owns and manages a global portfolio worth S$131.9 billion as at 31 December 2019. CapitaLand's portfolio spans across diversified real estate classes which includes commercial, retail; business park, industrial and logistics; integrated development, urban development; as well as lodging and residential. With a presence across more than 200 cities in over 30 countries, the Group focuses on Singapore and China as its core markets, while it continues to expand in markets such as India, Vietnam, Australia, Europe and the USA.
CapitaLand has one of the largest real estate investment management businesses globally. It manages seven listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business trusts as well as over 20 private funds. Since it pioneered REITs in Singapore with the listing of CapitaLand Mall Trust in 2002, CapitaLand's REITs and business trusts have expanded to include Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust, Ascendas India Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.
Visit www.capitaland.com for more information.
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