SINGAPORE - CapitaLand's wholly-owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited, has come up with new business opportunities to counter the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
They include the launch of a "work in residence" initiative at some properties worldwide to transform selected apartments into work suites, the company announced on Thursday (Aug 13).
With this, guests, companies and students looking for an alternative location to work from home or study can book "fully-furnished and well-equipped" suites from more than 60 properties in over 30 cities across 10 countries, said Ascott. The bookings come in daily, weekly or monthly packages.
Ascott is also transforming and optimising the use of space in its properties to offer new services in what it calls "space-as-a-service", and has joined hands with multinational corporations, entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to explore the different possibilities.
These range from cloud kitchens and Starbucks coffee kiosks, to parcel collection hubs and venues for livestreaming events and fitness activities.
In Singapore, Ascott has partnered a food tech company to set up a cloud kitchen in lyf Funan Singapore's shared kitchen to provide in-house guests with more dining options.
Ascott has also partnered with Nestle to set up Starbucks self-service kiosks in the lobby of its Citadines properties around the world. Citadines Balestier Singapore and Citadines Fusionopolis Singapore are the first in the serviced residence industry in Singapore with these kiosks. These will be rolled out to the rest of the Citadines properties starting with China, Malaysia and Japan by the end of 2020 and Europe in 2021.
Ascott has converted some apartments equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi into livestreaming or fitness studios for guests and companies. Ascott Raffles City Shenzhen and Somerset IOC Hangzhou in China have provided selected apartments for livestreaming events and photoshoots for long-stay guests which include Internet celebrities and new media and e-commerce companies.
In Vietnam, at Somerset Grand Hanoi, Somerset Hoa Binh Hanoi and Somerset Vista Ho Chi Minh City, selected apartments have similarly been converted into yoga studios which instructors can reserve at special rates to conduct classes for guests.
Said Mr Kevin Goh, CapitaLand's chief executive officer for lodging and Ascott's CEO: "Ascott's strengths in the long-stay segment have bolstered our resilience against headwinds from the Covid-19 situation.
"To ensure that Ascott remains a dominant lodging player in the new normal, we must be agile, continually adapt and develop new business strategies to future-ready our company. We are evolving our lodging products and services to cater to new customer segments, uncover alternative revenue streams as well as deliver greater value for our guests and business partners."