Breaking Travel News interview: Kevin Goh, chief executive, the Ascott Limited
Having won a host of national and regional titles this year at the World Travel Awards, the Ascott Limited (Ascott) has gone one better and been honoured with the trophy for World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand.
Here Breaking Travel News chats with Kevin Goh, chief executive of the company, to find out how it feels to have been awarded the prestigious honour by voters from around the world.
Breaking Travel News: The Ascott Limited has been recognised as the best in the world by voters at the World Travel Awards – how does it feel to have won?
Kevin Goh: To be recognised during such extraordinary times is a strong validation of our quality lodging properties, as well as Ascott’s efforts to provide a haven for all our guests, a safe home away from home.
I am honoured to celebrate this incredible achievement with our staff who selflessly put the needs of others above their own.
I am also grateful for the strong support from our owners, partners, and business associates.
Ascott Raffles City Chengdu
BTN: What is it that separated the Ascott Limited from its rivals in this highly-competitive market – what makes the brand stand out?
KG: Ascott has built a loyal following of customers over 30 years since we pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced residence, leveraging our expertise in hospitality and deep knowledge of the needs of our guests.
Ascott’s strong base of guests comprises corporates, expatriates, leisure and locals appreciate the comfort of our well-designed and spacious apartments where they can live and work.
Despite Covid-19, Ascott continues to be the accommodation of choice for guests.
This year, Ascott was the first hospitality company in the world to offer guests complimentary health, wellness, and security support during their stay.
We have also added seven hotel brands to form a network of 14 brands on our new online travel booking platform discoverasr.com.
Ascott also rolled out our ‘Work in Residence’ programme, transforming our apartments to work suites to allow guests to work at our properties, offering more flexibility, convenience and value.
As a global hospitality company, it is also essential to be a key community partner in the countries we operate in.
Ascott has been leveraging our lodging expertise and resources to provide a safe haven for our guests worldwide, while extending our support to local government agencies and philanthropic organisations in the fight against Covid-19.
At the height of the pandemic, Ascott stepped up to provide accommodation for healthcare workers, returning nationals, guests who are affected by border closures or city lockdowns, migrant workers and others who have been stranded.
These are testaments of a resilient team whom in the harshest of winters never lost sight of spring.
Citadines Arnulfpark Munich
BTN: How will the Ascott Limited be using the trophy and title to promote the company as we head into 2022?
KO: In celebration of Ascott receiving the title of World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand at the World Travel Awards 2021, we are giving away up to 28 million Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) bonus points to members of Ascott’s loyalty programme.
For every direct booking, including those made on discoverasr.com from now to December 31st, members enjoy 3,888 ASR bonus points.
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BTN: What plans does the Ascott Limited have in place for next year to ensure you successfully defend your title?
KO: On the back of winning World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand and being the biggest winner at the World Travel Awards, we are excited to bring this positive momentum into 2022 and introduce more of what Ascott has to offer.
With borders opening and vaccinated travel lanes materialising, we look forward to the return of travel in 2022.
We continue to expand our footprint to serve our guests, wherever they may be.
Ascott is on track to achieve a record number of new units signed this year and the highest ever property openings, placing us closer to our target of 160,000 units by 2023, further consolidating our position as one of the leading international lodging owner-operators worldwide.
To provide a unified and unique experience for our customers, we continue to enhance the ways our guests engage and interact with Ascott. discoverasr.com and ASR are two of our most important direct-to-customer touchpoints.
As ASR celebrates its third anniversary in 2022, members can expect more value and promotions as well as uncover new ways to maximise their membership.
ASR members can look forward to more ways to earn points from their stays, going beyond our online platforms, discoverasr.com and the Discover ASR mobile app.
Ascott will also be stepping up our sustainability efforts.
Sustainability is a key tenet in our Ascott Cares commitment.
As the lodging arm of CapitaLand Investment Limited, Ascott is working towards the targets outlined in CapitaLand’s 2030 Sustainability Master Plan.
These include reducing carbon emissions, energy and water consumption as well as tapping on more clean energy sources.
In addition, Ascott is exploring a variety of additional ways to green our operations and properties such as further reducing single-use plastics, tapping on clean technology solutions and encouraging our guests to lead more sustainable lifestyles through our in-house programmes.
To find out more about the Ascott Limited head over to the official website, or find out more about the Thank You campaign here.