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Ascott JV launches new brand in China, targeting middle class travellers segment

Newly unveiled Tujia Somerset brand receives strong support with more than 1,000 units across six properties in China signed up.


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. At a ceremony to unveil the new brand in Shanghai, 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. With Ascott’s expanded suite of products and services in the country, we will be in a stronger position to cater to the varying needs of property owners and guests; and rapidly increase our scale in China with the new Tujia Somerset brand along with our established Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands. Our aim is to have 2,000 units under Tujia Somerset by the end of 2016 and this will give us the added impetus to achieve Ascott’s target of 20,000 units in China and 80,000 units globally by 2020.”

Mr Lee said: “Through Ascott’s investment in Tujia, we have been able to integrate our strengths in operating serviced residences globally with Tujia’s online capabilities to offer guests a seamless Offline-to-Online and Online-to-Offline (O2O) experience. Following the listing of our 30 properties in China on Tujia.com, our global properties will soon be available on Tujia.com for booking as well; expanding our reach to more O2O savvy customers who seek quality accommodation for leisure or work. With the rapid increase in Chinese travellers overseas and Ascott’s presence in many of the tourist and business cities worldwide, our penetration of the Chinese market through our partnership with Tujia is expected to contribute greatly to Ascott’s business globally.”