The Ascott Limited, CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, will make its global network of serviced residences available on Alitrip, an online travel service platform under Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Ascott announced in a statement on Friday.
The Singapore-based international serviced residence owner-operator already has 24 of its China properties with 4,300 apartment units available for booking by Alitrip users through a directly operated online flagship store.
Ascott will list its global network of more than 26,000 apartment units operating in over 60 cities on the one-stop online travel platform by June this year.
The partnership will allow Ascott to deepen access to over 100 million Chinese travelers currently served by Alitrip.
The announcement of Ascott followed the signing of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and several leading Chinese digital and mobile services including Alitrip, Tuniu and Baidu in October 2015.
Chinese are among Ascott's top customers at its properties globally with revenue surging by 36 percent year-on-year, according to statistics released by Ascott. Chinese travelers have become increasingly tech-savvy and independent, they prefer to customize their travel itineraries rather than joining tour groups.
Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's Chief Executive Officer, believed that Ascott's serviced residences are ideal for Chinese families who enjoy the privacy of individual bedrooms and the convenience of a kitchen within a spacious apartment.
"We foresee further growth in independent travelers. Our strategic partnerships with Alitrip and Tujia.com International reinforce Ascott's commitment to create a seamless O2O (Offline-to-Online and Online-to-Offline) experience for our guests as we reach out to these hundreds of millions of Internet and smartphone users in China," said Lee.
Ascott invested in Tujia.com International to harness growth opportunities in the O2O space in August, 2015.
The company pioneered Asia-Pacific's first international-class serviced residence in 1984. it has over 26,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as over 16,000 units which are under development.