CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has been named the ‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ at the 2013 World Travel Awards held in Doha, Qatar. The prestigious World Travel Awards, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’, honour the best travel and hospitality companies that push the boundaries of product and service excellence. Winners were voted by travellers and travel professionals worldwide.
This latest award tops the list of 109 coveted accolades that Ascott has received to date in 2013, cementing its position as the global serviced residence industry leader. Last year, Ascott received a total of 79 awards.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It is a tremendous honour for Ascott to be recognised as the ‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’. Winning this award speaks volume about the confidence global travellers and travel professionals have in our brands and company. I dedicate this award to our staff, who work tirelessly to deliver the best stay experience for our customers and to make them feel at home at our properties across more than 80 cities in over 20 countries. We are slated to open another 58 properties in Asia, Europe and the Gulf region over the next few years. We look forward to welcoming more travellers to experience our award-winning hospitality and unique Ascott moments.”
Ascott is currently scheduled to open properties in the key gateway cities of China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam over the next few years. This year, through investment and management contracts, Ascott has added 22 properties with more than 3,700 apartment units to its portfolio. Ascott also entered into cities such as Hefei, Nanjing and Wuxi in China, Gurgaon in India, Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Sri Racha in Thailand. The new properties bring the company closer to its target of having 40,000 apartment units globally by 2015.
Mr Graham E. Cooke, President and Founder, World Travel Awards, said: “The award for ‘World’s Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ is the highest honour that we bestow and Ascott truly deserves to win. Only winners of our regional awards get to vie for the World award and Ascott was recently conferred ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ in Asia and Europe, as well as 18 other country awards. Starting with one property in Singapore in 1984, Ascott has steadily expanded to become the world’s largest international serviced residence owner and operator; all the while consistently elevating the customer experience through constant innovations. It is no wonder that travel professionals and consumers from around the globe voted for Ascott. Congratulations to Ascott on this significant achievement.”
Ascott has invested in a number of initiatives to enhance customer experience across different touch points. Besides ongoing refurbishment for its properties in Asia Pacific and Europe, the company has begun offering free internet access this year to meet the increasing data demand by residents.
In addition, Ascott has introduced new web and mobile booking features to enable an easier and faster search by customers for its properties. These encompass a citywide search function that allows customers to view all available properties in a city, and filters to help them narrow down available apartments according to their needs. Customers can also perform a multi-city, multi-property or multi-apartment booking within a single reservation process.
Besides the World Travel Awards, Ascott won top accolades at the 2013 Business Traveller Awards. It took the titles of ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ in China and Asia Pacific, and ‘Best Serviced Apartment Company’ in the United Kingdom. Ascott also became the first serviced residence company to be conferred the distinguished Business Superbrands status in Singapore, which pays tribute to the most valued business-to-business brands around the world.