Online, ALL, Singapore

Fri, 06 May 2022 to Sat, 31 Dec 2022

The Ascott Limited (Ascott) is a Singapore company that is one of the world’s leading international lodging owner-operators. Ascott's portfolio spans more than 190 cities across over 30 countries in the Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the USA. Ascott has more than 70,000 operating units and about 51,000 units under development, totaling more than 121,000 units in over 770 properties. Ascott’s brands include Ascott The Residence, The Crest Collection, Somerset Serviced Residence, Citadines Apart’hotel, and lyf.

Ascott launched a Discover Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) mobile app in October 2020, which has been download by more than 200,000 users. The app gives users access to exclusive promotions and perks, facilitate reservations of lodging and facilities, check-in on mobile, in-stay requests and more. Users can earn rewards points as part of the Ascott customer loyalty membership programme when they stay at any ASR participating serviced residences and hotels. These points can be used to offset in-room purchases, and other facility services. On average, these users engage with the app twice a year to make their bookings with Ascott, and there are 2,000 to 3,000 daily active users.

Ascott is keen to grow the usage and stickiness of its Discover ASR app, and help the brand remain top-of-mind for its users whenever they are looking to book a stay for leisure or for work. Hence, Ascott is exploring gamification concepts to help drive customer engagement among these categories of travelers who frequent their properties:

  • Business executives: These travelers typically stay at Ascott’s properties on their work trips. They travel frequently on tight schedules and value premium comfort, convenience, and efficient service.
  • Families: These travelers value properties with larger rooms, and child-friendly amenities and programmes for the kids to enjoy. They generally look for getting the most value for their money due to the large group size.
  • Digital natives: Young and sociable travelers who enjoy fast connectivity to the Internet, expect instant information and are big on shareable experiences that they can post on their social media.

The gamification concept should be able to address one or more of the following goals:

  • Increase in daily active users (including users who are staying at the properties and users who are using the app to consider bookings)
  • Increase in the number of bookings
  • Increase in opportunities to generate revenue
  • Increase in referrals (and consequently the app’s market share and penetration)


How might we better connect with guests through a gamified and compelling digital experience to increase brand stickiness, engagement and generate more bookings for Ascott?



SGD30,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge (see Award Model)


Access to IMDA’s innovation consultancies (e.g., Design Thinking, Digital Storytelling, UI/UX) and PIXEL corporate innovation facility (e.g., hot-desking, project studios, ARVR, usability, 5G test labs) for prototyping and commercialisation.


Co-create a gamified experience with Ascott that can reach a base of >200,000 users across 190 cities.




Ascott is looking for a proposed gamification solution, which should be engaging and delightful enough to attract users. The proposal should demonstrate how the experience is gamified for one or more traveler profiles (i.e., business executives, families, or digital natives).

The proposal should demonstrate a synergistic use of one or more of the following gamification elements:

  • Goals: Allowing users to choose from a list of travel-related goals and track their progress in meeting such goals.
  • Achievements/Challenges: Allowing users to pick and choose from a list of exciting achievements/challenges that will make their stay meaningful and memorable.
  • Social/Competition: Allowing users to compete or share their experiences. This could include family, friends or even fellow guests who are staying at the property or have stayed there.
  • New Experiences: Allowing users to learn about the points of interest surrounding a particular property
  • Rewards: Allowing users to earn points and redeem benefits based on any of the above gamification elements, building on Ascott’s loyalty membership tiers. The extrinsic rewards should serve as a bonus to the implicit joys of the gamification based on the above elements.

Users can be introduced to the gamification at key touchpoints across their stay (i.e., before their stay, during their stay and/or shortly after their stay). Gamification elements can also be used in-between stays to create app engagement. The prototype will also need to consider the following:

  • Integration: While the prototype could be designed as a standalone solution, it should be designed so that it can be easily integrated into Ascott’s Discover ASR app and/or its web app at a later stage.
  • External Hosting: Given the standalone nature of the prototype, it should be hosted first in the solution provider’s environment.
  • Device Agnostic: The prototype is used by a wide audience across geographies and should work across all common technology devices. It should be able to accommodate different operating systems across smartphones and demonstrate seamlessness across different connection speeds.
  • Language: The prototype should demonstrate consciousness of how text elements and non-text elements will be scaled to other markets, including markets where English may not be the primary language.

There are no restrictions on the geographical location of the problem solvers. However, the prototype must be demonstrated in Singapore.


  1. Ascott Passport - Trevor, a business executive, frequently travels to different cities for work. Using an AR/QR feature on his app, he can go on a treasure hunt by visiting a specific area in the hotel he’s staying at. Once he locates the right place, he will be rewarded with a stamp on his digital Ascott passport, which gives him access to exclusive promotions. After visiting different hotels under Ascott and filling up his Ascott passport, he receives a multiplier on his reward points, fast-tracking him to the next membership tier.
  2. Quizzes/Photos around Area Attractions - The Lim family loves to learn about different cities when they travel. Each time they visit an Ascott property, they can access a list of nearby attractions they can visit. To accumulate points, they can take a family photo at the area attraction or answer questions about the area attractions. The app feeds the family titbits of facts that they can share with the children. It also provides ideas of mini-games that the Lims can play with their children at that attraction.
  3. Discounts/vouchers for unique experiences and food locations - Joey and Jason are digital natives who prefer DIY travel and enjoy curating their itineraries. They use the app to identify unique experiences and food locations surrounding the Ascott property. They can also use the app to get discounts/vouchers by doing something for identified local businesses, which are Ascott’s business partners. This may include creating social content (e.g., TikTok videos or Instagram Stories) or writing reviews on the experience or the food they had. They earn more rewards points when they do so.