China and South-east Asia will make up the bulk of Ascott’s ambitious expansion plans in the next five years, as the serviced residence operator aims to achieve a portfolio of 160,000 units globally by 2023, twice its current inventory.
Ascott has clinched contracts to manage four properties with 1,200 units in new cities such as Malacca and Davao, while deepening its presence in Guangzhou and Cebu.
Its Somerset property in Malacca, Ascott’s largest property to date, will benefit from an upcoming free economic zone and sea port. Meanwhile, its 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. As well, Ascott’s fifth property under its lyf brand will be in Cebu.
Kevin Goh, Ascott’s CEO, said in a statement: “With the global economic upswing and international travel arrivals hitting a new high, we are confident of exceeding 80,000 units this year.
“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. We will focus on key gateway cities in our two biggest markets, China and South-east Asia, as well as markets such as Australia, Europe, Japan, South Korea and the US,” he added.
With these new additions, Ascott currently has more than 160 properties with about 30,000 units under development worldwide. About 35 of these properties with more than 6,500 units are scheduled to open this year, half of which are in China, and a quarter in South-east Asia.
The new management contracts have increased Ascott’s portfolio in South-east Asia to about 23,000 units in 111 properties across 34 cities. Its newly secured properties in Guangzhou has also strengthened Ascott’s foothold in China with over 20,000 units in about 110 properties across 31 cities.