Video – Relocate Awards Best Serviced Apartments Winner – The Ascott Limited

Winner of the Best Serviced Apartment Provider at the Relocate Awards 2015/16, Rebecca Hollants Van Loocke, regional general manager for The Ascott Limited, was interviewed at the Relocate Awards Gala Dinner, London, 19 May 2016.

Tell us about the expansion of The Ascott and the particular regions you’re moving into–

The Ascott is the largest serviced apartment owner operator provider in the world, outside the US.  We’re a Singaporean based company and therefore have very good strengths in Asia.  Without question, China is one of our key growth areas and we clearly have a special strength in that area.  We’re also looking at expanding in some of the key gateway cities within Europe and the rest of the Asia areas – very much because of growth and where we think demand is – where things are changing tremendously, growing and developing, evolving and henceforth those are the key areas for us for growth today.

Despite the so-called shrinking Chinese economy?

Despite the so-called shrinking Chinese economy because not withstanding they are still growing more than any other region in the world and there are an awful lot of spaces and areas within China that are still to be developed and if you think of just the population of China alone, it’s absolutely massive.  There is enormous demand for accommodation offerings alone just within China.  But it also helps us connect with the Chinese and actually bring that market to our other regions.  So it’s not just about expanding in that area but it’s actually enabling us to reach that market and bring it to other areas where we operate, so it’s definitely the place to be.

Can we talk about Georgia as well?

One of the less explored, or least explored, areas in which we operate today, is Georgia.  It's a developing country as well as recently got its own freedom.  It’s had its clashes with Russia and Ukraine over time, but a very good stepping stone I would say into Russia and that part of the world.  We have one property there which operates extremely successfully.  Georgia is a growing market, not only for oil industries, pharmaceuticals, in growing business and wealth but equally for tourism.  If you’ve never been to Georgia I would certainly recommend it – it’s stunningly beautiful, full of history, full of culture, full of opportunities to grow businesses, and to grow wealth.  It’s a stepping stone for us to again look at expanding into Russia and to the more northern areas.  I think is an area that hasn’t been explored in recent years due to certain political difficulties.  Georgia is actually a stepping stone into that and on top of it has its own market and its own place.   Beautiful country – somewhere to see!

Finally, can you tell us what this award means to The Ascott?

I was congratulated by all my competitors, which meant a lot to me.  There have been some very good entrants for this award so it’s particularly pleasing for us to have actually won it.  There are some very good serviced apartment providers out there and we do compete with them certainly here in the UK and across the world.  It's an enormous pleasure and an enormous privilege to have been awarded it when I know who I’m competing against.  So thank you very much Relocate, I’m really, really pleased.

APAC global mobility magazine
Read more about China and the Asia-Pacific region in our APAC Summer 2016 digital magazine.
For more Relocate Global news and features about the Asia Pacific region, see our Asia and China sections.

Relocate Global Serviced Apartments Ultra 2016

See the first issue of our Serviced Apartments Ultra digital magazine on the website on our Digital Issues section.

Full details of The Ascott's win can be read on our Best Serviced Apartments Provider page.

See the full list of all the Relocate Awards winners on our Awards section.

Relocate Global Awards Video 2016

Look out for full in-depth coverage of the Relocate Awards and the Gala Dinner in the Summer 2016 issue of Re:locate magazine.