The Ascott is ramping up its expansion with a target to double its portfolio to 160,000 units globally by 2023.
Hot on the heels of its recent signing of nine management contracts in China, Ascott has clinched contracts to manage another four properties with 1,200 units in new cities such as Malacca in Malaysia and Davao in the Philippines while deepening its presence in Guangzhou in China and Cebu in the Philippines.
Kevin Goh, Ascott chief executive, said: “With the global economic upswing and international travel arrivals hitting a new high, we are confident of exceeding 80,000 units this year.
“We see immense potential to scale up to 160,000 units worldwide in the next five years.
“Besides accelerating our growth through management contracts, which currently make up 60 per cent of our portfolio, we will continue to seek opportunities for strategic investments in strong operating businesses that will widen our customer reach and give us a competitive edge.
“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.”
Goh added: “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.
“Expanding our global network will allow us to leverage greater economies of scale and strengthen our earnings.”
Following the latest 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 rest are in countries such as Australia, France, India, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom, including Ascott’s first property in Africa.
Goh added: “The Chinese are our top customers at our properties globally and continues to be the fastest growing segment in 2017, growing at 33 per cent year-on-year.
“Besides opening more properties in China, we have stepped up our online marketing efforts tailored for the China market to better capture the Chinese travellers’ demand for properties both in and outside of China.”