Ascott is accelerating its expansion in Asia by forging strategic partnerships with developers in China, Japan and Thailand, amid an aggressive expansion expected to drive inventory up 300 per cent year-on-year this quarter.
In China, Ascott has partnered speciality township developer, Riverside Group, to launch serviced residences in Zhejiang, Chongqing and future riverside themed towns in other key cities.
This strategic partnership will start with two serviced residences with a total of 350 units in Zhejiang and Chongqing. It follows Ascott’s contract with Riverside Group to manage the 190-unit Ascott Riverside Garden Beijing which opened in November last year.
In Japan, Ascott has partnered NTT Urban Development Corporation – a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation – and are currently working on two serviced apartment projects in Fukuoka and Yokohama.
Turning to Thailand, Ascott’s alliance with Ananda Development has led to the signing of four properties under the collaboration – Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok, Ascott Embassy Sathorn Bangkok, Ascott Thonglor Bangkok and one more property in Sukhumvit 8. These will offer close to 1,500 apartment units in Bangkok when they open between 2020 and 2021.
Kevin Goh, Ascott’s CEO, said: “Leveraging Ascott’s global network of close to 100,000 corporate clients, we will create significant cross-marketing opportunities across the globe for our properties to maximise returns for our partners. We are confident of achieving our global target of 80,000 units this year, and to double our portfolio to 160,000 units by 2023. We will continue to scale up through investments, strategic alliances, management contracts, leases and franchises.”
Goh added: “Serviced residences are in high demand in many parts of the world. In the first quarter of 2018, we have added over 5,000 units to Ascott’s portfolio – more than 300 per cent growth on a year-on-year basis.”
In addition to the 1,607 units added to its portfolio in January and February, Ascott is adding management and lease agreements for another 14 properties with about 3,400 apartment units across 10 cities in China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia this quarter. This includes a lease agreement with department store chain, Takashimaya Company to operate the first Citadines Apart’hotel in Osaka.
With China still Ascott’s top source market, making up a quarter of customers, the company has secured eight new contracts across seven cities in China, namely for Ascott Songshan Lake Dongguan, Citadines Songshan Lake Dongguan, Citadines Putuo Xiangyi Shanghai, Somerset Golden Pebble Winery Dalian, Tujia Somerset Centreville Haikou Serviced Residence, Tujia Somerset Jinshan Lake Huizhou Serviced Residence, Harmony City Elite Apartment Nantong and Hotel Purple Hong Kong.
With the additions in China, Ascott will have over 21,500 units in 118 properties across 33 cities in the country.