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Ascott transforms digital ecosystem to support rapid expansion as global lodging portfolio grows over 30% annually

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Thu, 04/25/2019 - 12:27
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Debuts Ascott Star Rewards as world’s first serviced residence loyalty programme to offer full flexibility to earn and redeem points.

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is embarking on a digital ecosystem transformation to support its fast-expanding global lodging portfolio. Ascott aims to drive revenue growth, improve operational efficiency and enhance value to its customers and business partners through a comprehensive front-to-backend systems makeover. In addition to its launch of Ascott Star Rewards, the world’s first loyalty programme in the serviced residence industry to offer full flexibility to earn and redeem points, Ascott is adopting a new revenue management system as well as updating its backend global property management system to a cloud-based one.

Mr Kevin Goh, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ascott has grown its global portfolio at a compound annual growth rate of 32% over the past four years. 2018 was a record year with the addition of over 30,000 units, extending our footprint to over 170 cities across more than 30 countries. For every 10,000 serviced residence units signed, we are expecting to earn approximately S$25 million in fee income annually as the properties progressively open and stabilise. In 2018 alone, total operational units contributed S$186.9 million in fee income. As we continue to grow our asset-light business model through management contracts and franchise deals to achieve Ascott’s target of 160,000 units globally by 2023, the ability to expand and multiply efficiently is paramount. Technology is therefore a critical enabler to succour this rapid expansion and boost our multiple revenue streams.”

Mr Goh added: “To augment the growth of Ascott’s lodging brands, which now stands at 13, we have to be smarter about the sales and distribution of these various brands to ensure we deliver the right products for our guests. By combining the technology of cloud commerce, revenue and customer relationship management applications as well as location analytics, Ascott will be able to capture an unprecedented level of data, both online and offline. We will then be able to customise entirely unique experiences based on our guests’ implicit and explicit preferences. To sharpen Ascott’s competitive edge to stay ahead of the curve, we must continue to harness technology to reinforce our strong international network of customers, boost employee productivity, gain cost advantages from economies of scale and strengthen our operations.”

As part of Ascott’s digital transformation efforts, Ascott Star Rewards is offering members no cap to the points that can be earned, no minimum points required for redemption, no blackout dates, and even the option to nominate other guests to earn points. Its four membership tiers are based on the guest’s accumulated spending during the qualifying period, starting with the complimentary Classic membership tier, followed by Silver, Gold and Platinum. In addition to the full flexibility to earn points instantly, members can also easily redeem the points in part or in full through Ascott’s websites for complimentary stays and other privileges.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.