It is perhaps not altogether surprising to find out that Vincent Miccolis, The Ascott Limited’s country general manager for the Middle East and Turkey, admires Napoleon Bonaparte for his strategic leadership and his ability to impart a shared vision of an empire to the entire French nation, an ability that Miccolis describes as “astonishing”.
While the expansion of The Ascott Limited’s stable of brands in the Middle East has not been Napoleonic, of course, the Singaporean serviced residence operator, under Miccolis’ leadership for the past three years, has been an unstoppable juggernaut. He spearheaded the company’s entry into new markets such as Turkey, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, the latter having proven to be exponentially welcoming to the company.
During the last 12 months alone, from the summer of 2016 until July 2017, Miccolis and his team have been busy with properties all over the region, installing pre-opening teams where needed. The newest additions to the portfolio are Spectrum Residences, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Ascott Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Citadines Culture Villages, Dubai; Citadines Al Ghubrah, Muscat, Oman; Ascott Corniche Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Citadines Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Ascott Villas, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Somerset Downtown Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; and Citadines Abha, Saudi Arabia.
On the marketing and branding front, under Miccolis’ stewardship, the company signalled a serious intent to increase its share among Arabic travellers with the launch of an Arabic-language website. Changes in the organisational structure reflect a focus on yield rates and revenue at properties throughout the region, with the implementation of a centralised GCC reservations and revenue
Miccolis, whose travel schedule is relentless, is still intent on raising the company flag in completely new markets, setting his future expansion sights on the emerging market of Iran, as well as the continent of Africa. Nevertheless, this does not mean that he is taking his eye off the ball when it comes to growth in his regional home base.
According to Miccolis, Ascott will continue to pursue rapid expansion in the region by seeking strategic alliances with selected partners. A multi-pronged strategy is planned for the group’s expansion across all continents, whether through strategic partnerships, acquisitions, management agreements, or franchising, in order to contribute to reaching the goal of 80,000 units by 2020.