A panel of leading hospitality industry experts participated in a panel discussion titled: “Riding the Wave of Travel Recovery and Beyond” at CapitaLand Investment Investor Day 2022. The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Beh Siew Kim, Director of Finance and Sustainability, CLI Lodging featured on the left of the image, and included (left to right) Mr. Chaly Mah, Chairman of the Singapore Tourism Board; Mr. Kevin Goh, CEO, CLI Lodging and The Ascott Limited. Among the online participants are Mr. Frits Dirk van Paasschen, Form
Presents business outlook and strategic directions at CapitaLand Investment Investor Day 2022.
SINGAPORE – AT Capital Land Investment (CLI) Investor Day 2022 event, which took place over two days (October 13-14, 2022) in Singapore, the accommodation business unit wholly owned by CLI, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), shared his business insights during a panel discussion titled: “Riding the wave of travel recovery and beyond.” Ascott also presented its strategy for managing accommodation investments at this gathering of more than 200 institutional investors, bankers and market analysts.
M Kevin GohCEO, CLI Lodging and The Ascott Limited, shared during the roundtable: “The recovery of the accommodations industry accelerated alongside the rapid lifting of travel restrictions from the second quarter of 2022. At the end of the third quarter, Ascott’s revenue per available unit was close pre-pandemic levels in 2019. We expect our residence services, which has the flexibility to cater to both short- and long-stay guests, to further bolster revenue. initial trips, the growth of the hospitality sector is on a positive and sustainable trajectory.
During the event, Ascott outlined the strategic directions for its accommodations business, building on the post-COVID travel recovery to enter a phase of accelerated, low-asset consumption growth.
Fueling a resilient and differentiated model. As an integrated player across the entire accommodation real estate value chain, Ascott’s business model is based on two growth engines. The investment management engine is anchored by the publicly traded CapitaLand Ascott Trust (CLAS) and its private funds, while the accommodation management engine is fueling room unit growth across its product brand portfolio. Leveraging the synergy of its network of owners, strong branding and deep local expertise, Ascott is well positioned to scale fund and accommodation management fees.
Focus on light growth in assets. Ascott is embarking on an increasingly light growth path, with more than 80% of its properties currently signed under management and franchise agreements, compared to 39% in 2011. The long duration of the contracts, 10 to 10 years, contributes to build a stable and recurring structure. revenue stream for Ascott. In the first half of this year, Ascott signed over 7,500 new rooms and opened over 4,500 rooms. With the acquisition of Oakwood, it achieved healthy net bedroom growth1 by 15%.
Accelerate growth through strategic mergers and acquisitions. Oakwood’s latest acquisition by Ascott in July 2022 provided an immediate boost to the group’s portfolio, expanding its global presence to over 150,000 units in approximately 900 properties in over 200 cities. Acquisition solidifies Ascott’s position as one of the world’s top three extended-stay serviced residence providers2. This follows a series of earlier strategic investments, including the acquisition of Quest Apartment Hotels and a substantial investment in Synergy Global Housing – both in 2017. In 2018, Ascott acquired TAUZIA Hotel Management (TAUZIA).
Develop a portfolio of global brands. Building on its capabilities to manage both short and long-stay accommodation needs, the group continues to offer accommodation options that allow flexibility to pivot based on demand across geographies, ensuring resilience deal with the peaks and troughs of activity. Leveraging the strengths of Ascott’s dual-engine business model, the lyf brand was created to appeal to next-generation travellers. The brand has gained a lot of ground in the coliving space since its debut in 2019. Now with 21 lyf properties and 13 more under development, Ascott is convinced of lyf’s strong potential and aims to sign 150 lyf properties by 2030 .
“Ascott has a resilient and differentiated business model and we will continue to build on our strength as an integrated accommodations player across the real estate value chain. Our portfolio of brands caters to different types of travellers, from short-term stays to long-term customers, and our strategy is to focus on unlocking their full value potential. From 2017 to 2021, Ascott had five consecutive years of record signings, despite COVID. We are also keeping pace in 2022. Ascott is on track to achieve its goal of 160,000 units worldwide by 2023.” Mr. Goh added.
Ascott’s portfolio of brands spans a variety of accommodation options, including serviced residences and aparthotels, hotels and co-living concepts. As its brand portfolio expands for continued growth in the dynamic hospitality industry, it has embarked on a group-wide exercise to strengthen its brand portfolio through more accurate brand stories and introducing signature experiences and programs unique to each brand.
The renewal of the Citadines brand was unveiled in September 2022. With the slogan “For the love of cities”, Citadines offers travelers the comfort of a serviced residence and the flexibility of a hotel. The updated Somerset is due to launch in November 2022 and aims to celebrate the coming together of families and friends in a sustainable, inclusive and harmonious environment. The Ascott brand and The Crest Collection will also roll out new brand signatures and programs in 2023.
“As a leading accommodation provider, Ascott is committed to continuing to grow our brands to retain our guests, enhance experiences to attract next-generation travelers, and deliver sustainable value and returns to owners and investors. Taking what is unique about our brands and building on its heritage and reputation to enhance consumer experiences will allow us to grow our brand image and unlock the substantial potential that is embedded in our brands,” said Tan Bee LengthChief Brand and Marketing Officer of Ascott.
Ms. Tan added: “Post-pandemic, Ascott’s flex-hybrid model not only allows us to offer the option of hotel rooms and serviced residences, but also enables us to design robust branded programs that better respond to diverse lifestyle needs of our customers, and have proven to be highly sought after, so Ascott is optimistic about the conversion trend as we see the potential for more assets coming into play. such as Citadines and The Crest Collection were designed to be “convertible” as they require less structural work to change.
Integration and growth of Oakwood
Ascott began to integrate the newly acquired company Oak wood3 brand in its diverse portfolio of global brands. Leveraging the synergies gain from the Brand360 exercise, Oakwood will go through a brand refresh, which includes migrating from oakwood.com to discoveryasr.com.
Leveraging the strength of Ascott’s sales and distribution network, Oakwood properties will have access to greater resources and benefit from an expanded network of systems, channels and tools to drive revenue growth, improve operational efficiency and increase value for customers and business partners. With comprehensive end-to-end technology, enhanced web data analytics and a loyalty program (Ascott Star Rewards), Oakwood properties will be able to personalize experiences based on the implicit and explicit preferences of its guests.
Intended to target the growing number of bleisure guests, the refreshed Oakwood brand will focus on three brand pillars: comfort, the art of hospitality and relationships. Some of its brand signatures will include workspaces specifically designed to meet business needs, curated dining programs that provide convenience for home-cooked meals in the apartment, signature community engagement initiatives and programs to develop associates in the hospitality business.
 Net room growth represents new rooms added in 2022, net of terminations.
 Global Serviced Apartment Industry Report 2022
 Refer to the appendix for more information on Oakwood