Serviced apartment company The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has successfully exceeded its 2019 growth in spite of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company added a record of over 14,200 units across 71 properties globally for 2020, marking a fourth consecutive year of record growth for Ascott. The new properties are set to boost Ascott’s annual fee income by over S$27 million as they gradually open. 

China has proven to be a particularly successful market, with the company achieving an 80 per cent year-on-year growth in units compared to 2019.

The company has added over 4,900 units across 23 properties since October 2020, including 3,800 units across 17 properties in China. Ascott is set to debut in the city of Yangzhou while also expanding in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan.

Tan Tze Shang, Ascott’s Managing Director for China and Head of Business Development for China, commented on the news:

“Ascott’s business in China continues to lead our global expansion. We have achieved record growth in new units and about half of the properties opened globally are in China. In key cities, our properties such as Ascott Heng Shan Shanghai, Ascott Aden Shenzhen, Ascott IFC Guangzhou, and Raffles City Residence Beijing, have strong average occupancy rate of over 90 per cent.”

Outside of China, Ascott will expand its presence in markets such as Doha (Qatar), Manila (Philippines), Singapore, Sydney (Australia), Binh Duong and Danang (Vietnam).

Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s CEO for Lodging and Ascott’s CEO, commented:

“Covid-19 has validated the resilience of Ascott’s business model as property owners continue to sign new management and franchise contracts with us, allowing us to achieve our fourth consecutive year of record growth in 2020. Through these new contracts, we continue to build our future recurring fee income stream.”

In 2021, Ascott is set to open more than 80 properties with approximately 17,000 units across the world. This includes over 70 properties with over 15,000 units in Asia Pacific, which “is expected to lead the global economic recovery” according to Goh. 

Goh added:

“While we were not spared the short-term operational impact of Covid-19, we believe that the fundamental demand for lodging remains intact and will bounce back quickly once the global pandemic is brought under control. In the meantime, we continue to seek new opportunities amid the crisis.”

The serviced apartment company has also announced that it will deploy its robot ‘Aria’ to selected properties in Singapore this year to further minimise physical contact. Guests will be able to call upon the robot to perform tasks including concierge services, delivering clean laundry and packages and refilling room supplies.