Ascott unveils its integrated strategy to boost asset-light growth in the lodging business

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Published on 17/10/22 - Updated on 17/10/22

Ascott unveils integrated strategy

The Ascott Limited presented its business outlook and lodging investment management strategy during CapitaLand Investment (CLI) Investor Day 2022, which took place over 13th-14th October in Singapore.

The company shared its plans to enter a phase of accelerated asset-light growth and outlined the strategic thrusts of its lodging business, boosted by the post-Covid travel recovery, that it will lever to achieve this.

  • Powering a resilient and differentiated model: Two engines of growth power Ascott’s business model. Firstly, the investment management engine is anchored by the listed CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) and its private funds. Secondly, the lodging management engine powers the growth of room units across its portfolio of brands. By harnessing its owner’s network, strong branding and local expertise, the company is well-positioned to scale fund and lodging management fees.
  • Focussing on asset-light growth: More than 80% of Ascott’s properties are signed under long-term management and franchise contracts, this is a 39% increase vs. 2011. In the first half of 2022, the company signed more than 7,500 new rooms and opened over 4,500. The acquisition of Oakwood in July this year helped achieve 15% net room growth.
  • Accelerating growth through strategic mergers and acquisitions: The aforementioned acquisition of Oakwood grew the global portfolio to more than 150,000 units in approximately 900 properties across 200 cities. Ascott is now one of the top three extended stay serviced residence providers in the world. Other recent strategic investments include the acquisition of Quest Apartment Hotels and substantial investment in Synergy Global Housing (both 2017) and the acquisition of TAUZIA Hotel Management in 2018.
  • Growing a portfolio of global brands: The lyf brand was created in 2019 to appeal to the next gen of travellers, since then it has gained much traction in the coliving space. Its current portfolio stands at 21 properties and 13 under-development, with a target of 150 signings by 2030.

Ascott is also leading a Brand360 strategy. As its portfolio varies from serviced residences and aparthotels, hotels to coliving concepts, the company has embarked on a groupwide exercise to strengthen its brand portfolio. To do so, it is reworking its brand stories and introducing signature experiences and programmes unique to each one. Last September, it unveiled its brand refresh of The Citadines and refreshes are in the immediate pipeline for Somerset, the Ascott brand and The Crest Collection.

The newly acquired Oakwood brand will undergo a refresh, including the migration of into, as part of its integration and growth in the Ascott portfolio. It will be aimed at the ‘bleisure’ market, and its refresh will focus on three pillars: comfort, craft of hospitality and connections.

More information was shared at the event regarding the company’s growth plans for Oakwood. Since the beginning of the year, 5 properties have been added to its portfolio. These recent openings will be bolstered by a further 6 new properties in the coming months and years across Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India and Switzerland.

The recovery of the lodging sector has accelerated alongside the rapid lifting of travel restrictions starting second quarter of 2022. At the end of the third quarter, Ascott’s revenue per available unit was pacing close to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. We expect our serviced residences, which has the flexibility to cater to both short- and long-stay customers, to further bolster revenues. Beyond the initial travel rush, growth of the hospitality sector is on a positive and sustainable trajectory. Ascott has a resilient and differentiated business model and we will continue to build on our strength as an integrated lodging player across the real estate value chain. Our portfolio of brands caters to different types of travellers, from short stay to long-term guests and our strategy is to focus on unlocking their full value potential. From 2017 to 2021, Ascott has had five consecutive years of record signings, in spite of COVID. We are keeping pace in 2022 as well. Ascott is on track to achieving its target of 160,000 units globally by 2023.

Kevin Goh, CEO of CLI Lodging and The Ascott Limited

As a leading provider of accommodation, Ascott is committed to continue building our brands to drive loyalty amongst our guests, enhance experiences to attract the next-generation travellers and deliver sustainable value and returns to owners and investors. Taking what’s unique about our brands and building on its heritage and reputation to elevate consumer experiences will allow us to grow our brand equity and unlock the substantial potential that is embedded within our brands. Post-pandemic, Ascott’s flex-hybrid model not only allows us to offer the option of both hotel rooms and serviced residences, but also enables us to design robust brand programmes that better cater to the various lifestyle needs of our guests and have proven to be much sought after. Ascott is therefore bullish on the conversion trend, as we are seeing the potential of more assets coming into play. In our Brand360 exercise, brands such as Citadines and The Crest Collection have been designed to be “conversion-friendly” because they require less structural work to switch.

Tan Bee Leng, Managing Director for Brand and Marketing at Ascott

The Ascott Limited

The Ascott Limited


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