Katrina Group Ltd launches its first affordable luxury line of co-living hotels in Singapore, ST Signature Chinatown; the first of high-tech, co-living hotels anticipated to roll-out across APAC in 2020.
This marks Katrina Group’s first major expansion after its acquisition of Straits Organization in December 2018.
According to Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023 by Allied Market Research, the business travel market is expected to grow to USD1.7 trillion by 2023 from about USD 1.3 trillion in 2017. Asia-Pacific is currently the largest business travel market (42%) in the world.
Katrina Group Executive Chairman and CEO Alan Goh Keng Chian says this new affordable luxury line of co-living hotels puts the Group at the forefront of a growing industry.
“The launch of ST Signature Chinatown is part of our growth strategy to create a strong hospitality brand in the region. We see great opportunity in the industry and strongly believe that the co-living concept will continue to grow within the region. With strong growth expected in the global business travel segment and Asia Pacific is a major growth region for hospitality, the future looks bright for ST Signature,” says Chian.
The potential of the co-living market
Driven by the millennial demographic, there is strong growth in the co-living market in Asia. According to a recent report Bridging the Housing Gap by JLL, co-living is gaining traction in Asia, especially in markets with high or rising real estate costs.
While flat-sharing or shared housing has been popular among students and young professionals, what differentiates co-living spaces is that they are professionally managed, often offering benefits and services beyond accommodation.
Co-living hotels bring that concept into the hospitality and tourism industry to leverage on a growing travel industry as well. By integrating high-quality and luxury aspects into an affordable travel bracket, the co- living hotel segment has strong potential to capture market share as the industry continues to grow.
The ECA International, April 2019 reports claims Singapore (4th) and Hong Kong (1st) represent the top five most expensive Asian countries for business travel; costing businesses USD 468 and US 515 per day respectively. This equates to growing demand for affordable quality options. Beyond the business travel market, there is strong growth expected for the whole industry in the region.
The tourism industry for the ASEAN region is expected to show strong growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.72% from 129.2 million travellers in 2018 to 155.4 million in 2022 according to Tourism Destination Market Insights ASEAN.
Rapid expansion on the cards
Identifying the growing opportunity, Straits Organization (subsidiary of Katrina Group Ltd) now has a growing portfolio of over 600 serviced apartment units in Singapore and Hong Kong, and four additional co- living hotels in the pipeline for Singapore.
The Group will be rolling out the rest of the ST Signature line in Singapore within the next 12 months.
The first in the line of affordable luxury co-living hotels is fully operational in Chinatown, located in the heart of one of Singapore’s most well-known heritage areas.
ST Signature Chief Host Ng Xin Fang says the hotel incorporates a blend of custom-built technology such as the smart Chat-In technology. He claims guests checking in or out of the hotel, will be among the first in Singapore to experience this unique hospitality check-in solution which uses a virtual host; an innovation of ST Signature.
“ST Signature Chinatown offers a truly local experience that marries luxury with smart business and convenience for travellers from all over the world. The location and easy access, makes it an ideal choice for regular business travellers who want both convenience and luxury at an affordable price,” says Xin Fang.
Xin Fang also claims the hotel incorporates an intelligent design that circumvents a traditional room layout, allowing the 40 rooms to be comfortable and compact enough to reduce their carbon footprint.
Katrina Group says its soon to be launched flagship co-living hotel at Tanjong Pagar will be open for business late October 2019.
(Ed. Straits Organization is a subsidiary of Katrina Group, a hospitality group specializing in various lifestyle brands and concepts from F&B to hotels and serviced apartments, established in September 2017. The group offers fully furnished serviced residences under the brand of ST Residences and affordable luxury co-living hotels under its ST Signature. Collectively, Straits Organization has 600 serviced apartment units in Singapore and Hong Kong, and potentially 9 Co-living hotels in Singapore.)