No hesitation

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We are only in the second week of the new year and the serviced apartment industry's players are already making their first moves of 2016.

Ascott's tie up with the travel arm of Chinese online retailer Alibaba gives it enormous exposure to new potential guests. To put it in to perspective, Alibaba racked up US$1 billion of sales in the first eight minutes of China's Black Friday; and Ascott says that Alitrip currently has more than 100 million active users.

"These are potential customers for Ascott and our penetration of the Chinese market is already contributing to Ascott's business worldwide. Chinese are among Ascott's top customers at our properties globally with revenue surging by 36 per cent year-on-year. Our serviced residences are ideal for Chinese families who enjoy the privacy of individual bedrooms and the convenience of a kitchen within a spacious apartment," says Ascott CEO Lee Chee Koon.

Here in the UK, Irish-owned London owner/operator Marlin Apartments has received planning permission for its first property outside the capital, with a 190-unit aparthotel in Dublin city centre.

The new project is the first element of Marlin's strategy - announced last year - to double the size of its portfolio by 2020.

The new year is still young, but the industry is getting in to top gear already.


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