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interview with Ngor Howai Lee (Ascott)

Ngor Howai Lee, General Manager of Ascott Group Europe.

What lessons have you learned from the crisis for long-term living?

Ngor Howai Lee – It is interesting that in this difficult period for tourism, the hotel-residence proved to be much more sustainable than the traditional hotel industry. For example, three-quarters of our European establishments have remained open, which is quite significant when you look at what has happened in general. Similarly, since the second half of 2021, the recovery has been strong and fast. We were even surprised by the activity of our luxury residences in Paris. Last May, we were still reluctant to open our three The Crest Collection locations in the summer due to their dependence on foreign tourists. In the end, we believed in it and I have absolutely no regrets since then. these residences have surpassed compared to our 3* and 4* establishments and got many customers from America and the Middle East. With the autonomy and comfort they offer, the residences are well-suited to the whims that may have arisen during this pandemic. In Asia, some have also been used as quarantine sites or pick-up points while awaiting test results.

Has this recovery been affected by the fifth wave, which we hope is fading away?

NHL- The momentum is, of course, a little weaker than at the end of last year, but the trend is still good. We fit within our budgets. We are no longer in a previously known situation, we feel that there is no collapse in demand. In the UK, after the measures were lifted, our residences are doing very well. The Netherlands, Spain, Ireland are reducing their restrictions. The climate will become more and more positive. Hoping, of course, not to see the emergence of new problematic options.

You talked about resilience. Has this better resilience to a major shock, such as the pandemic we experienced, changed the way we look at long-term housing supply?

NHL- In a way, the pandemic has pushed our segment into another dimension. We see this, on the one hand, in all projects signed by our group, Ascott recently announced a new record with an expected 15,000 new units worldwide, and on the other hand, in our attractiveness to alternative customers who were able to discover during the health . a crisis. But above all, by the number of requests we receive from investors, their growing interest in apart-hotel brands. Previously, out of 10 projects, only one was associated with a hotel residence. Demand is up today…

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