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ASCOTT'S CEO LEE CHEE KOON RECEIVES BUSINESS CHINA YOUNG ACHIEVER AWARD FOR ASCOTT'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO SINGAPORE-CHINA RELATIONS
Industry: Events       

SINGAPORE - July 14th, 2017 - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

1. When Xueling, the CEO of Business China, first contacted me, I thought she had wanted me to participate in some of the programmes organised by Business China.  So when she informed me of this award, I was completely taken aback. It’s been quite a few years since I returned from my overseas posting in China, but I remain a strong believer and supporter of the strong relationship between our two countries Singapore and China.  I therefore feel particularly honoured and humbled to stand here before you this evening to receive this award.

2.  Ascott has grown very significantly, having more than doubled our growth in the last five years.  If we look at most of the big international hospitality companies, like Marriott in the US, AccorHotels in Europe, and China Lodging Group in China, these companies started off with a huge natural advantage because they had a domestic hinterland where they could first build a good base for their business before venturing overseas.  But Singapore, as it has been said many times, is a city-state without any natural endowments or hinterland.  That Ascott has managed to grow an international hospitality business out of Singapore is a commendable achievement.

3. Without a doubt, China has been a big part of our growth and transformational journey.  Ascott started out in China in 1998 with our first serviced residence in Shanghai.  Today, it is our fastest growing market with more than 100 properties across 29 cities.  More than 60% of our customers in China are local Chinese, and they are the fastest growing group of customers.  China generates more than four billion in domestic travel[1] and 130 million in outbound travel[2], and I believe Ascott is well positioned to capture this growing market.

4. Ascott has always been on the lookout for opportunities to work with Chinese firms.  I am pleased to count Vanke, Yuexiu, and China Merchant among some of our valuable China partners.  To further spur innovation in our business, Ascott took a stake in Tujia.com (commonly known as China’s AirBnB) and formed a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s Fliggy to reach out to more Chinese travellers on their platforms.  We are currently working on a number of other interesting tie-ups in China, and I hope to share more good news with you when we are ready.

5.  I am extremely heartened by the progress Ascott has made in China.  These achievements are only possible because of the people we have in the company.  As the Chinese saying goes: 盖有非常之功,必待非常之人, we need extraordinary people to achieve extraordinary outcomes.  At the heart of Ascott’s achievements is my core team.  They are some of the most intelligent, capable, dedicated, responsible and resourceful colleagues I have ever met.  Of course, we cannot forget many key people who have been instrumental in laying the foundation for Ascott, so that my colleagues and I can reap the fruits of the labour.  前人种树,后人乘凉。So rightfully, this Business China Award should belong to CapitaLand, to Ascott, and to all the extraordinary colleagues who have been involved in this amazing journey.

6. Before I end, I would like to thank my wife Melanie, who is also here tonight; for being a loving and understanding wife, for being the greatest mummy to our three lovely young children, and for being my best friend and my soulmate.

Once again, thank you for this great honour. 

-END-



[1] “Chinese took 4.4 billion domestic trips in 2016” (10 January 2017), Travel Daily Asia

[2] “China outbound tourists spent US$261 bn overseas in 2016” (19 April 2017), China Internet Watch

 

ANNEX A: BACKGROUND INFORMATION OF ASCOTT IN CHINA
Ascott has achieved remarkable growth in China, its biggest market. Chinese are amongst Ascott’s top customers globally with revenue increasing 35% year-on-year.  Last year, about 62% of its guests in China are Chinese. 

To remain a market leader in China, Ascott not only secures management contracts and acquiring properties, but also forms strategic alliances with some of the biggest property developers and construction firms in China such as Vanke, Yuexiu and Dongfu.

In addition, Ascott partnered new economy leaders like Tujia and Alibaba’s online travel service platform Fliggy to enhance its online presence and reach out to more customers.  It also formed a joint venture with Tujia to operate serviced residences under the Tujia Somerset brand to cater to the growing middle class travellers in China.

To capture the booming millennial market, Ascott launched its new co-living concept ‘lyf’ in China last month with two properties in Shenzhen and Dalian, as well as one in Singapore.

Given its growth momentum, Ascott will achieve its target of 20,000 units in China well ahead of 2020, and is confident of exceeding its global target of 80,000 units by 2020.

ANNEX B: MEDIA STATEMENT
“I am humbled and honoured to receive this year’s Business China Young Achiever Award. Ascott started out in China in 1998 with our first serviced residence in Shanghai. Today, it is our fastest growing market with more than 100 properties across 29 cities. Ascott has always been on the lookout for opportunities to work with Chinese firms. I am pleased to count Vanke, Yuexiu, and China Merchant among some of our valuable China partners. To further spur innovation in our business, Ascott took a stake in Tujia.com (commonly known as China’s AirBnB) and formed a strategic partnership with Alibaba’s Fliggy to reach out to more Chinese travellers on their platforms. We are currently working on a number of other interesting tie-ups in China, and I hope to share more good news with you when we are ready.”

“These achievements are only possible because of the people we have in the company. As the Chinese saying goes: 盖有非常之功,必待非常之人, we need extraordinary people to achieve extraordinary outcomes. At the heart of Ascott’s achievements is my core team. They are some of the most intelligent, capable, dedicated, responsible and resourceful colleagues I have ever met. Of course, we cannot forget many key people who have been instrumental in laying the foundation for Ascott, so that my colleagues and I can reap the fruits of the labour. 前人种树,后人乘凉。So rightfully, this Business China Award should belong to CapitaLand, to Ascott, and to all the extraordinary colleagues who have been involved in this amazing journey.”

Attribution:
Mr Lee Chee Koon, CEO of Ascott
李志勤
首席执行官
雅诗阁有限公司

 

For more information, please contact:

Joan Tan
Vice President, Group Communications
Tel: (65) 6713 2864
Mobile: (65) 9743 9503
Email: joan.tanzm@capitaland.com 

Chen MeiHui
Manager, Group Communications
Tel: (65) 6713 3673
Mobile: (65) 8133 8334
Email: chen.meihui@capitaland.com

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Name: Chen MeiHui
Company: CapitaLand Limited
Phone: 6713 3673
Email: 
chen.meihui@capitaland.com
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