The Ascott Limited (Ascott) has shed light on its stellar performance during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Middle East and Turkey.
Statistics released by STR revealed that hotel occupancy rates across the Middle East plummeted to 36 per cent in May 2020, but during this period, Ascott experienced an average occupancy rate of 80 per cent on its long stay front across its regional portfolio.
On the short-stay front, Ascott revealed that there has been a substantial and steady increase in staycations, as its properties have experienced an ample pickup in this segment. Currently, the brand is at a 50 per cent occupancy rate for both long and short stays, and is experiencing a continuous healthy pick in domestic tourism.
Ascott’s extended stay business model has proven to be more resilient during the pandemic. Globally, over 85 per cent of its properties remained open during the crisis.
Regional general manager (Middle East and Turkey), Ascott, Vincent Miccolis explained: “The strength and sustainability of our Serviced Residence model by far outweighs the risks and challenges of a traditional hotel model, which we at Ascott have experienced first-hand during the global crisis. With the unfortunate situation of hotels closing down temporarily, and some permanently, Ascott has been able to endure this pandemic.”
Not only did Ascott manage to weather the storm of the pandemic with its robust business model, but it also superseded the market performance as the group advanced to convert this crisis into an opportunity. Amongst its back-to-business strategies, Ascott launched the ‘Work-in Residence’ initiative that transforms selected apartments into conducive work suites for working professionals and students. The group is further providing loyal Ascott Business Travellers added benefits with its ‘ASR Corporate’ programme. For residents, Ascott regionally launched the ‘Long Stay Residential’ offer to support the arising needs for comfort, safety and peace of mind.
Adding to this, Ascott rapidly evolved its digitised approach to ‘Future Ready Lodging’ offerings; this includes the development of a one-stop service app that will offer guests contactless entry to their apartments, payments, check-in and check-out, in-room service and smart controls.
On the business front, director of business development in Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Ascott, Hafid Mirabti shared: “We expect that as the real estate sector picks up steam in due time, many developers and hotel owners will be more inclined towards sustainable business models, which will certainly present some viable opportunities of partnerships for Ascott to grow further regionally.”
Finally, dedicated to ensuring the safety of its guests, Ascott collaborated with testing and certification leaders’ Bureau Veritas through its ‘Ascott Cares’ initiative. In the Middle East and Turkey, the following properties have received the Bureau Veritas certification: Ascott Tahlia Jeddah, Ascott Sari Jeddah, Citadines Al Salamah Jeddah, Spectrums Residence Jeddah, Ascott Rafal Olaya Riyadh and Ascott Corniche Al Khobar in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA); Ascott Park Place Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain; Somerset Panorama Muscat in Oman and Somerset Maslak Istanbul in Turkey. Citadines Metro Central Dubai (UAE) has received the prestigious Dubai assured health & safety compliance stamp, awarded to hotels for implementing strict standards of safety.