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ASCOTT EXPANDS LODGING SUPPORT TO PROVIDE SAFE HOMES TO GLOBAL COMMUNITY IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
Industry: Accommodation       

Extends community support online with launch of #StayHomeWithAscott, a campaign with US$200,000 donation pledged to benefit 12,000 underprivileged children affected by the pandemic

Singapore, 20 April 2020 – CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), is leveraging its lodging expertise and resources to provide a safe haven for its guests worldwide, while extending its support to local government agencies and philanthropic organisations in the fight against COVID-19. Ascott has stepped up to provide a home away from home for healthcare workers, returning nationals, guests who are affected by border closures or city lockdowns, migrant workers and others who have been stranded due to COVID-19.

Mr Kevin Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Group and Chief Executive Officer, The Ascott Limited, said: “In these unprecedented times, COVID-19 has changed the way the world lives tremendously. For Ascott, we must be nimble to adapt to this evolving pandemic. As a responsible lodging company, Ascott has stepped up to support various countries’ national efforts to combat COVID-19. We are lending our lodging expertise to provide safe abodes to our guests as well as affected communities who need alternative accommodation. We are galvanising staff across the company to support our frontline colleagues in braving this challenging time together. Across the world where we operate, we stand in solidarity with the local communities to ride through this. Our doors and hearts remain open, and we look forward to welcoming our guests home.”

In Singapore, when travel restrictions were introduced, many returning nationals found themselves a home with Ascott. Ascott has also contributed its management and operational expertise as a lodging provider to enhance Singapore’s response to COVID-19; helping to care for healthy individuals in alternative accommodations. In the case of Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, Ascott, with support from CapitaLand Hope Foundation (CHF), responded swiftly to provide complimentary accommodation for the care staff who were displaced from their homes by their landlords amidst the COVID-19 situation.

In France, Ascott is supporting healthcare workers, easing the demands of commuting to and from work, across the country. Since 23 March 2020, Ascott has provided over 1,500 complimentary room nights in key cities like Paris and Marseille. The initiative is expected to continue until end of May. In addition, from 6 April to 5 May 2020, Citadines Austerlitz Paris will provide 50 rooms exclusively for healthcare workers from Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, a public hospital within walking distance from the property. The initiative is in collaboration with BNP Paribas Immobilier Promotion IE and Sucres et Denrés.

In China, as the nation gradually recovers from COVID-19, Ascott continues to care for healthcare workers, offering 630 complimentary nights in appreciation of their hard work. The initiative is available in 31 lodging properties across 19 cities from 1 May to 31 December 2020.

Please refer to Annex A for a selection of words of appreciation from guests who found themselves homes at Ascott properties as the COVID-19 situation unfolded.

More on Ascott’s community initiatives in various countries across the world are appended in Annex B.

Home - your safest destination | Pledge to #StayHomeWithAscott

Extending its community support online, Ascott is launching the #StayHomeWithAscott campaign to rally the global community to curb the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.

With the support of CHF, the philanthropic arm of Ascott’s parent company CapitaLand, Ascott has pledged a total of US$200,000 through the campaign. The donation will go towards Save the Children’s food security and assistance programmes, to support about 12,000 underprivileged children affected by COVID-19.

The first US$100,000 will be donated directly to Save the Children. To unlock the second tranche of US$100,000, Ascott is calling on the global community to share photos or videos of their culinary adventures or creations in their home kitchens through Instagram. With every Instagram post shared with the hashtag #StayHomeWithAscott, CHF will donate US$10, which goes towards providing food for a child over 20 days.

The campaign aims to garner 10,000 Instagram posts over two weeks, from 20 April to 4 May 2020. Selected entries from participants will be featured on Ascott’s official Instagram page @ascott_ltd. Please visit http://www.the-ascott.com/en/stayhomewithascott for more information on the campaign.

Mr Goh added: “For over 30 years, our guests around the world have made Ascott their home away from home, and we want to continue to make sure that home is the safest destination when they travel. Enjoying the warmth and comfort of our residences, and being able to prepare and savour a home-cooked meal in our kitchens. Through our campaign #StayHomeWithAscott, we hope to remain connected with all our members in the Ascott family; and more importantly, encourage the global community to stay home, wherever home may be at this moment, and stay safe as we get through during this difficult period together.”

Mr Tan Seng Chai, Chief Corporate & People Officer, CapitaLand Group and Executive Director of CapitaLand Hope Foundation, said: “CapitaLand has been evolving our community outreach efforts to provide critical support where it is most needed as the COVID-19 situation develops. Guided by our credo, ‘Building People. Building Communities.’, CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm CapitaLand Hope Foundation works with our business units and partners to provide timely intervention in the communities where we operate. Through this partnership with Save the Children, we will be helping to ensure food security for 12,000 underprivileged children affected by COVID-19. From delivering medical supplies to hospitals and offering lodging to caregivers, to providing financial assistance to vulnerable children and the elderly, CapitaLand will continue to play our role not just as a responsible real estate company, but a community leader.”

About The Ascott Limited

The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 180 cities across over 30 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA.

Ascott has about 70,000 operating units and over 44,000 units under development, making a total of about 114,000 units in over 700 properties.

The company’s serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott The Residence, The Crest Collection, Somerset, Quest, Citadines, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Citadines Connect, Fox, Yello and POP!.

Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Ascott’s achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2020 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; World Travel Awards 2019 for ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ in Asia, Europe and the Middle East; Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2019 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand'; Business Traveller China Awards 2019 for 'Best Luxury Serviced Residence Brand'; and TTG China Travel Awards 2019 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator in China’.  For a full list of awards, please visit https://www.the-ascott.com/ascottlimited/awards.html.

About CapitaLand Limited

CapitaLand Limited (CapitaLand) is one of Asia’s largest diversified real estate groups. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, it owns and manages a global portfolio worth S$131.9 billion as at 31 December 2019. CapitaLand’s portfolio spans across diversified real estate classes which includes commercial, retail; business park, industrial and logistics; integrated development, urban development; as well as lodging and residential. With a presence across more than 200 cities in over 30 countries, the Group focuses on Singapore and China as its core markets, while it continues to expand in markets such as India, Vietnam, Australia, Europe and the USA.

CapitaLand has one of the largest real estate investment management businesses globally. It manages seven listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and business trusts as well as over 20 private funds. Since it pioneered REITs in Singapore with the listing of CapitaLand Mall Trust in 2002, CapitaLand’s REITs and business trusts have expanded to include Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust, Ascendas India Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.  

Visit www.capitaland.com for more information.

About CapitaLand Hope Foundation

CapitaLand Hope Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CapitaLand, was established in 2005 to further CapitaLand’s community development commitment to ‘Building People. Building Communities.’, by recognising that the long-term success of the company’s business is closely intertwined with the health and prosperity of the communities in which it operates.

Every year, CapitaLand allocates up to 0.5% of its net operating profit to CapitaLand Hope Foundation.  The Foundation is a registered charity in Singapore which promotes the social growth and development of vulnerable children with respect to their education, healthcare and shelter needs.  The Foundation also strives to improve the quality of life for the vulnerable elderly through healthcare, deeper social integration and better living conditions.  Going beyond donations associated with charitable giving, the Foundation also focuses on giving time and attention to its beneficiaries through advocating volunteerism.  The strong commitment of volunteers embodies CapitaLand’s mission to care for and contribute to the economic, environmental and social development of communities

Visit www.capitalandhopefoundation.com for more information.

Issued by: The Ascott Limited         Website: www.the-ascott.com             

168 Robinson Road, #30-01 Capital Tower, Singapore 068912

For more information, please contact:

Joan Tan, Vice President, Group Communications

Tel: (65) 6713 2864      Mobile: (65) 9743 9503        Email: joan.tanzm@capitaland.com  

Ngeow Shang Lin, Manager, Group Communications

Tel: (65) 6713 2860       Mobile: (65) 9877 6305       Email: ngeow.shanglin@capitaland.com

Kim Quek, Manager, Group Communications

Tel: (65) 6713 3097       Mobile: (65) 9339 4231       Email: kim.quek@capitaland.com

ANNEX A

Words of Appreciation from guests who stayed at Ascott properties during COVID-19

High-resolution versions of the actual handwritten notes from this Annex can be downloaded at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1sN-SxnhbbmqGvL0NAXu8soNFXoxORdDV.

Singapore

Notes from returning nationals who stayed at one of Ascott’s properties in Singapore in March 2020

Note 1

“Thank you for your caring hospitality during this stay. Greatly appreciate your effort as one of the frontline warriors in this pandemic. Wishing all to stay safe!” ♥

Note 2

“Thank you so much for always delivering food to my room & clearing my trash! I have no SGD so hopefully you can exchange this Canadian dollar :) Please stay safe in this period & enjoy the snack! Thank you again, so much, for everything.” ♥

Note 3

“THANK YOU for everything you’ve done for me & my peers over our stay. From delivering our 3 meals, to items sent by my friends & family, to clearing our trash, to doing & delivering our laundry, and finally cleaning up my room after 14 days. I hope I didn’t make too much of a mess and apologies in advance for dropping so much hair (yup, I have really long hair haha).

We’re all very grateful and appreciative of your hard work & contributions during such a trying & uncertain period of time with the whole outbreak going on. I know the staff are putting in extra effort & time to clean the walkways & lift area too because I can hear the spraying sound. Haha thank you all! ♥ Stay safe & healthy during this period of time – drink more water & rest well!” 

Note 4

Thank you for taking good care of us for the past 14 days. You guys have been very understanding and helpful throughout! Take care and stay safe!” ♥

Staff from Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home who are staying at Ascott’s property in Singapore

Together with CapitaLand’s philanthropic arm, CapitaLand Hope Foundation and the Agency for Integrated Care, Ascott has swiftly provided complimentary accommodation for the care staff at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home who were displaced from their homes by their landlords amidst the COVID-19 situation.

"We are incredibly grateful to CapitaLand for stepping up in providing accommodation for our staff at Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home. We come together in solidarity to support our frontline heroes who not only risk their lives, but also prioritise the comfort and welfare of their seniors and patients every single day. A lot goes unnoticed, including the challenges they may face at home, such as their living arrangements. CapitaLand has certainly helped allay their anxiety and uplift their morale, as they continue to serve with passion.”

-          Mr Then Kim Yuan, Administrator, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home.

"We were at a loss when our landlords expressed their concerns, leaving us to find alternative accommodation overnight. We appreciate our management and CapitaLand in assisting and providing us a safe haven within such short notice. In these difficult times of uncertainties, education and communication of healthcare measures are important. I hope that the community comes together in solidarity to get through this together. Thank you for providing us shelter in this difficult time."

-          Staff Representative, Senior Staff Nurse Sandar Swe, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home.

Indonesia, Jakarta

Mr Jimmy Deng donated 1,000 surgical masks to the staff of Ascott Jakarta.  He has been a guest at the serviced residence since February 2017.

"I feel that the Ascott staff are part of my close friends, as they have always been so nice with me throughout my stay. So I felt that I should also take care of them."

-          Mr Jimmy Deng, General Manager of Indonesia Branch of China Coal Solution

China, Shanghai and Wuhan

“这里有设施齐全的生活设备可以供我们日常所需,隔离期间的洗衣做饭和别人居家是一样的,方便且保证了我们卫生和私密性,加之疫情期间的每日消毒,高度透明化的社区疫情信息,还有漂亮的户外大花园可供我们散步透气,让我们觉得很安心,很安全。此外,公寓准备的丰富线上活动也增加了生活趣味。”

"This property is just like home, as it comes complete with amenities that cater to our daily needs such as laundry and cooking. It provides us with convenience, protects our hygiene and ensures our privacy. Besides daily disinfection of the property, the team has been transparent in sharing updates on the COVID-19 situation. We enjoyed taking a breather in the beautiful outdoor garden and the online activities provided by the property helped to make our life more interesting. We feel truly safe and well taken care of.” 

-          Mrs Ding, together with her family of seven, have been staying at Somerset Gubei Shanghai since early January 2020.

“1月22日我从广州出差武汉入住馨乐庭沌口公寓酒店,没想到刚过来第一天武汉就开始封城,70多天的时间里,在馨乐庭我感受到了家的感觉,公寓人员很热情,乐于提供各种帮助。在疫情期间,很感谢酒店工作人员的服务。酒店工作人员每天坚持为我监测体温,并会关心问道是否需要帮助、最近身体状况如何,对于被困他乡举目无亲的情况下,让我觉得比较安心、暖心的举措;-在小区封闭的情况下,酒店工作人员联系超市帮我们购买生活用品,柴米油盐,冒着风险帮我们取回物资和快递;为了避免不必要的接触,公寓减少了打扫次数,但是卫生细节并没有因此忽略。在我们的居住的楼层放置了垃圾桶;客房阿姨进出房间都有消毒;楼层门口放置了日常我们所需的打扫工具;虽然在疫情期间关闭了公寓的健身房,但得知我有健身的想法后,前台工作人员非常贴心的告诉我,可以借用小型器材在房间内使用,办理了简单的手续后,开始在房间开始锻炼;虽然最初是公司的差旅政策选择了馨乐庭,经过几段入住经历,尤其是这次疫情期间发生的事情,让我感受到了家的温暖,从而更加积极地应对这次疫情;感受到了贵酒店员工的敬业精神和对客人的悉心照顾,今后还是会选择馨乐庭入住,并会推荐给身边的朋友和同事。”

"I was on a business trip from Guangzhou to Wuhan on 22 January 2020 and stayed at Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan. I did not expect the city to be locked down that day. Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan was truly a home away from home during my 70 days at the property. The staff were very enthusiastic and went above and beyond to help. I am grateful to Ascott for offering me a home during the onset of COVID-19.

The staff monitored my temperature every day, and often asked if I needed any help. They made me feel better while I was away from my family members during COVID-19. When the city was under a lockdown, the staff reached out to the supermarket to help us purchase our daily necessities and groceries, braving the city to carry all the purchases back to us.

The property was cleaned and disinfected daily. Although the gymnasium was closed, I was able to borrow some of the mobile fitness equipment back to my apartment for a simple workout. At Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan, I could feel the warmth of home, the professionalism and great care was given by its staff. I will not only return but will also highly recommend Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan to all my friends and colleagues.”

-          Mr Zeng has been staying at Citadines Zhuankou Wuhan since 22 January 2020.

Saudi Arabia, Al Khobar

“I was on a business trip to Al Khobar. I got stuck here when they shut down the airport and my stay since then has been so safe. The way everything has been handled immediately to keep the visitors at the property safe is outstanding. Even when we asked for extra material to stay comfortable, you did not hesitate to help instantly!

I remember asking for an extra space to keep the food refrigerated and to my shock the General Manager offered to send me an extra fridge just 5 minutes later! 

Ascott Corniche Al Khobar will definitely remain my home away from home whenever I’m back here.”

-          Ms Lene Chalhoub, a guest currently staying at Ascott Corniche Al Khobar.

ANNEX B

Examples of Ascott’s community initiatives in various countries across the world

·         In Philippines, to support healthcare workers, Ascott donated over S$7000 worth of medical supplies comprising 3,950 surgical masks, 4,000 pairs of gloves, 211 sets of personal protective suits  and 1,500 shower caps to six medical facilities - San Juan Medical Center, Premier Medical Center, Ospital ng Paranaque, Las Pinas Doctors Hospital, Carmona Hospital & Medical Center, and Lipa Medix Medical Center on 13 April 2020.

·         In Indonesia, Ascott will donate S$1,500 worth of groceries and daily essentials to about 50 underprivileged Muslim families and about 40 children from Yayasan Rasulullah orphanage in Petojo Thamrin area in Jakarta to ensure they are prepared for the upcoming fasting period as COVID-19 continues to impact the city.  Over 80 complimentary meals were also provided by Ascott Kuningan Jakarta to taxi drivers in the city who had their incomes affected. TAUZIA Hotel Management, a member of Ascott, has distributed over 550 complimentary lunch boxes to healthcare workers across nine cities in Indonesia such as Bali, Batam, and Surabaya, between March and April 2020.

·         In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Ascott organised a blood donation drive on 10 March 2020 and rallied their partners to donate 67 packets of blood to Dubai Blood Donation Center, helping to ensure sufficient supply in the city’s blood bank.

ANNEX C

Save the Children

Save the Children is a leading independent humanitarian organisation for children. It was established to improve the lives of children through better education, health care and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in crisis, natural disasters, war and other conflicts. Save the Children is made up of 29 national member organisations across 120 countries. The organisation promotes policy changes to gain more rights for young people and coordinate emergency-relief efforts, helping to protect children from the effects of pandemic, war and violence. Save the Children believes that every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Its mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org.

Mr Paul Ronalds, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children Australia said: “We are extremely grateful for this very generous donation from CapitaLand. Contributions like these are critical to ensuring Save the Children can deliver lifesaving aid and support vulnerable children during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


[1] For more information and a quote from Save the Children, please refer to Annex C.

[2] Personal information of the guests has been redacted to protect their privacy.

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CONTACT INFORMATION
Name: Ngeow Shang Lin
Company: CapitaLand
Phone: 6713 2860
Email: 
ngeow.shanglin@capitaland.com
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