Lyf Collingwood Melbourne is on track to open in 2022.

Serviced apartment giant, The Ascott Limited, has reported a new growth record in its global estate for the 2020 calendar year, with China proving to be particularly successful in the latter months, including a new signing in Australia.

Globally, the group recorded the addition of 14,200 new serviced residences across 71 properties, exceeding its growth results from 2019 despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. It marked the fourth consecutive year of growth for the organisation, with more than SG$27 million in annual management fees to be added to the company’s bottom line as a result of the new signings.

Nearly a dozen cities in China alone will see either an expansion or debut of The Ascott Limited’s presence, with the company to enter Yangzhou for the first time and expand in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzen and Wuhan. Outside of China, the company will expand its presence in Sydney, Singapore, Manila, Doha and two cities in Vietnam.

Citadines Walker North Sydney will be open in 2021 as part of a 48-storey tower.

Ascott CEO, Kevin Goh, said the pandemic didn’t spare the company in terms of short-term operational costs, however its resilience validated its long-term business model and encouraged property owners to sign new management and franchise contracts.

“In 2021, over 80 properties with about 17,000 units are slated to open across the world,” Goh said.

“This includes over 70 properties with more than 15,000 units in Asia Pacific which is expected to lead the global economic recovery.

“We believe that the fundamental demand for lodging remains intact and will bounce back quickly once the global pandemic is brought under control.”

The Ascott Limited CEO Kevin Goh

The past year has seen Ascott diversify its offering with new services including ‘Work in Residence’ and ‘Space as a Service’, which generated more than SG$91 million as workers unable to travel sought private space as pseudo offices to ride out the pandemic. The company also saw a strong 45% spike in membership of its Star Rewards loyalty app following its relaunch as a digital concierge.

In 2021, Ascott is set to roll out ‘Aria’ – its new service robot as a new guest facing contactless technology as selected properties in China and Singapore. Aria will lead guests to their rooms and other facilities, refill room supplies, deliver clean laundry and amenities on request and obtain items from the hotel’s vending machines to deliver to guests in their rooms.