The Ascott announced that it has secured a record 25 deals with over 5,400 units across 19 cities worldwide, the largest number of new properties the serviced residence operator has clinched in the first five months of any year.
This marks a 139% year-on-year increase in the number of units secured when compared to the same period in 2019.
The 25 new properties, secured under management contracts, franchise contracts and a lease, will open in phases between 2020 and 2024.
Through the new signings, Ascott will expand its geographical reach into four new major cities in China, Indonesia and Morocco. Ascott will enter Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province; and Nanchang, the capital and largest city of Jiangxi Province. In Indonesia, it has expanded into Jayapura, the capital and largest city of Papua Province; and in Morocco, it has ventured into Casablanca, the largest city of Morocco.
Ascott is set to further strengthen its presence in key gateway cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu in China; Batam and Surabaya in Indonesia; as well as Manila in the Philippines.
This year, Ascott has also opened six new properties in Singapore; Changsha and Tianjin in China; Gold Coast in Australia; Osaka in Japan; and Tours in France.
“Ascott’s record signing of 25 new properties globally despite the challenges of Covid-19 demonstrates that our partners recognise the resilience of our lodging products and the value Ascott brings as one of the leading international lodging owner-operators," said Mr Kevin Goh, CapitaLand's CEO for Lodging and Ascott’s CEO.
China, which comprises half of the 25 new contracts secured, continues to see a "resilient" domestic demand for serviced residences, according to Ascott.
Ascott has also signed its first rental housing property in China, located in Shanghai. The expansion into the segment taps on the growing demand from young, mobile workers as well as returning students from abroad who are looking to rent quality fully furnished homes in the tier one and tier two cities on a long-term basis in China.
In 2Q 2020, a quarter of Ascott’s properties in China have achieved occupancy rates of over 70%. Ascott has also achieved 100% occupancy rate across some of its properties in cities such as Hangzhou, Suzhou and Wuxi over China’s five-day ‘Mini Golden Week’ public holiday.
Since May 2020, Ascott has fully resumed operations of its properties in mainland China and is now seeing encouraging signs of recovery driven by the country’s strong domestic demand, said Mr Tan Tze Shang, Ascott's managing director for China and head of business development for China.
"With the implementation of green lanes between China and other countries such as Singapore and [South] Korea, we expect demand for our properties to pick up pace as international travel gradually resumes,” he stated.
With the addition of the 25 new contracts, Ascott has a total of close to 118,000 units in over 700 properties worldwide. These new contracts will offer a boost towards achieving Ascott’s global target of 160,000 units by 2023.