As part of HM’s 2022-2023 Hotel Development Outlook, The Ascott Limited General Manager Growth and Capital Strategy, James Shields, shares why it’s the perfect time to harness the strength of the domestic markets.

Ongoing strategic investment in positioning, projects, properties, and partnerships is delivering above and beyond expectations for The Ascott Limited’s suite of brand offerings including Quest.

While expansion had already picked up pace pre-COVID, the resurgence in the domestic markets during COVID led by the regions and drive destinations amplified the benefits of the growth strategy. At the heart of Quest’s approach is a commitment to delivering a balanced stakeholder approach within the evolving challenges of the marketplace.

The proof in the success is the fact that Quest like the other brands in Ascott’s impressive portfolio including The Ascott Residences, Citadines, Citadines Connect, Sommerset and lyf is flourishing.

In fact, the pipeline is the strongest every experienced by the group with eight projects in construction and 15 more at varying stages of negotiation.

The end result – an additional 2,750 rooms and more than $1.2 billion in completed projects under the Quest banner will be delivered over the next four years.

Supporting this is a commitment to flexibility of structures including leases, management agreements and brand franchises. There’s also a focus on getting the inventory quantity and mix right through understanding demand drivers at the most granular level and building out room night volume accordingly.

New developers are selectively added to the existing developers who have a track record of delivering for the group. Quest’s design and construction teams are integral and work hand in hand with developers to optimise project feasibility and delivery especially given increasing construction costs.

Importantly, the financing market remains strong for leases, where a lease can represent a pre-sale of more than 50% of the number of apartments in any mixed-use development. This means developers do not need to sell 100% of residential inventory to meet debt coverage ratios.

Now is the perfect time to harness the strength of the domestic markets and optimise the entire group for sustainable, quality growth as we continue to deliver on our purpose of making corporate travel effortless for our guests, our owners and business partners.