InterContinental Hotels Group IHG has launched voco, its new upscale hotel brand, alongside announcing a first signing in Australia.
voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities, working with individual and locally-branded hotels to strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment.
Inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, the roll out of voco will begin in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time.
Based on three core principles, each hotel will focus on an easy check in, high quality bedrooms and amenities and vibrant and sociable public areas.
The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in ‘attractive urban and leisure locations’ over the next 10 years.
IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) to rebrand and operate 12 open hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the UK.
This deal will establish an important presence for voco in the UK with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.
The first voco signing in Australia will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, a 388-room hotel with two swimming pools and 800 sq mtrs of meeting space.
The hotel is due to open under the voco flag in late 2018.
Keith Barr, chief executive officer, IHG, commented: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this. We’ll work with owners of attractive properties, who appreciate the power and expertise that a global business can bring to the table. Guests will be able to enjoy the appeal of a more individual hotel, alongside the reassurance of a name above the door that they trust. The versatility of the brand, means a voco hotel can retain and celebrate all of the elements that make that existing hotel successful.
“With voco, the recent addition of Regent Hotels & Resorts in the luxury space, the launch of avid hotels in the Americas, and the work we’re doing to enhance our existing brand portfolio, we’re making great progress with our ambitious plans to accelerate growth.”