Ascott secures its first two franchise agreements
The Ascott Limited, the world’s largest international serviced residence owner-operator, has entered into franchise agreements with two companies to operate sites in Bali, Indonesia and Vientiane, Laos.
PT Menara Permata Propertindo will operate the 194-unit Citadines Kuta Beach Bali, which is scheduled to open in August.
A subsidiary of LCD Global Investments Ltd, a real estate and hospitality group listed on the Singapore stock exchange, will handle the operations of the 116-unit Somerset Vientiane, which is due to open in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Under the latter agreement, Ascott will manage the premises for the first two years to ensure it is refurbished to Somerset brand standards before transitioning to a franchise arrangement.
Ascott’s chief executive, Lee Chee Koon said the franchise agreements mark a new milestone for the 30-year old business.
“Franchis[ing] will be one of Ascott’s growth drivers for the future. It will allow us to build our scale rapidly in our existing markets and expand into new markets.
“Through the franchise agreements, we have added two more cities to our portfolio to reach 85 cities worldwide. Together with investments, management contracts and strategic alliances, franchise will bring us closer to achieving our target of 40,000 apartment units globally by 2015,” he explained.
While Ascott properties traditionally attract expatriates and business travellers on extended stay, Lee said the business’s leisure market is on the rise.
“Bali is a popular destination for holiday, meetings and conferences. With Citadines Kuta Beach Bali, our guests can enjoy the familiar homely environment that Ascott provides in another renowned destination.”
Lee said increasing foreign direct investment in Laos’ natural resources and hydropower sectors will drive interest in the city of Vientiane.
“As the Laos government pushes for more economic reforms and creates more special economic zones across the country, the number of expatriates and corporate travellers in the economic hub of Vientiane will increase.
“This will generate significant demand for our serviced residence, especially since there is a lack of international-class serviced residences in Vientiane,” he added.