CapitaLand’s wholly owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has unveiled its new Tujia Somerset brand of serviced residences.
The new brand of serviced residences will cater for the booming segment of middle class travelers in China.
Ascott’s joint venture company with Tujia.com International (Tujia), China’s largest online apartment sharing platform equivalent to Airbnb, has sealed contracts to manage six serviced residences to be operated under Tujia Somerset brand, giving a significant boost of 1,005 units to Ascott’s portfolio in China.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ascott’s investment in Tujia is providing us with a new pipeline to manage apartments for a growing number of Chinese corporate asset owners as well as individual homeowners with multiple properties. By leveraging our Tujia Somerset brand, we will be able to spur the growth of Ascott’s management and franchise business in China.”
The group will rapidly increase its scale in China with the new Tujia Somerset brand along with our established Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands. Their aim is to have 2,000 units under Tujia Somerset by the end of 2016.
Two of the six Tujia Somerset serviced residences, the 76-unit Tujia Somerset Baiyue Dalian and 355-unit Tujia Somerset Xinhui Shenyang, are in operation. The other four properties are the 154-unit Tujia Somerset West Coast Haikou, 140-unit Tujia Somerset Shining City Wuxi, 102-unit Tujia Somerset Weilian Tianjin and 178-unit Tujia Somerset South Nanjing. The addition of the six Tujia Somerset properties will further reinforce Ascott’s leadership position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in China, with more than 15,000 units across over 85 properties in 25 cities.
The launch of the new Tujia Somerset brand comes at a time as China shifts to a consumption-led economy driven by the burgeoning middle class and with innovation and the Internet being major growth areas as announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the recent National People’s Congress. The growth of the Chinese middle class consumers will continue to drive demand for domestic and overseas travel.