Singapore Volume 12

7 2 | S U P E R B R A N D S V O L U M E X I I MARKET Ascott’s serviced residences cater to the grow- ing demand from expatriates and travellers for a homey, spacious, affordable alternative to the typical hotel room. The company has three distinct brands for different lifestyle needs that include Ascott, Citadines and Somerset. The premier Ascott-branded properties offer business executives discreet service in an exclu- sive environment. Citadines provides independ- ent travellers the flexibility to choose the services they require, and Somerset-branded properties are equipped with facilities such as playgrounds, indoor playrooms and children’s swimming pools, making them the ideal choice for families. Ascott has, and continues to experience growth through its investments, management contracts, and strategic alliances. As the largest international serviced residence owner-opera- tor, it currently has a portfolio of more than 170 operating properties in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, with an additional 50 properties under development in the key gateway cities of China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam. With strong potential for further growth in Asia Pacific, London, Paris and key cities in Germany, Ascott will continue to look for expansion oppor- tunities in these markets to achieve its target of 40,000 apartment units globally by 2015. ACHIEVEMENTS As a serviced residence provider with 30 years of experience, Ascott is recognised internation- ally for its strong branding, as well as its prod- uct and service excellence, which has achieved more than 100 accolades in 2013 alone. Significant milestones for the company in- clude the acquisition of Citadines in 2002, which added more than 5,000 units to its portfolio. The acquisition helped Ascott develop into a global business with greater economies of scale. Later, in 2006, Ascott REIT was launched, and be- came the world’s first Pan-Asian serviced resi- dence REIT when it was listed on SGX-ST. Significant strides have been made in the company’s drive for global sustainability since the launch of Go Green @ Ascott, in July 2011. Cost savings have been achieved through re- ductions in water, energy, and paper consump- tion. For these efforts, Ascott was awarded the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for 106 serviced residences across 15 countries in Asia Pacific and Europe. ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 are globally recognised standards for environmental management, and occupational health and safety management, respectively. The Ascott Centre for Excellence (ACE), the company’s global hospitality training centre, not only develops its own employees to support ex- pansion, but also contributes to grooming talent in the hospitality industry in Singapore. ACE is a Continuing Education and Training (CET) Cen- tre approved by the Workforce Development Authority and it offers a full range of Workforce Skills Qualifications programmes to the public. HISTORY Ascott is a homegrown Singapore brand that has become the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator. It pio- neered Asia Pacific’s first international-class ser- viced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore along Scotts Road in 1984. Mergers and acquisitions, investments, management contracts, strategic alliances and marketing partnerships have driven the rapid expansion of the company’s global footprint. In particular, the acquisition of the Citadines chain of serviced residences in Europe in 2002 accel- erated global expansion to create a larger net- work. This has resulted in greater economies of scale and helped Ascott sustain top-of-mind re- call with its target markets. The company now has more than 33,000 apartment units in over 200 properties, across more than 80 cities, in over 20 countries in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region. PRODUCT Ascott stands apart in the hospitality industry by ensuring guests have an unforgettable stay. Its apartments are completely furnished featur- ing spacious rooms, separate living and dining spaces, and private, fully-equipped kitchens. A dedicated team of Ascott Hosts contact long-stay guests before arrival and set their apartments up the way the guests’ prefer. Hosts continue to assist residents throughout their stay, providing personalised attention, useful local tips, business support, and other services such as grocery shopping, and even babysitting. Resident programmes are also organised to help guests settle into the new environment and meet other residents. As a result, Ascott has many repeat visitors. One particular loyal cus- tomer in Singapore, has remained a long-stay guest for more than 25 years. Ascott has embarked on an extensive refur- bishment programme for its properties in Asia and Europe. Guests have given very positive feedback about the renovations, which feature integrated relaxation areas resembling living