InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale brand, voco.
With 14 brands under its global umbrella, IHG is already one of the largest hospitality chains in the world. And with another new brand in its portfolio, the company seeks to grow even more by adding more than 200 hotels over the next decade.
Inspired by the Latin word ‘voco’ which means ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’, the new brand aims to combine the ‘informality and charm’ of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time.
Keith Barr, CEO at IHG, commented: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this.”
According to IHG, the brand’s focus will be on conversion opportunities. It will strengthen the group’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by another $20 billion by 2025.
Barr added: “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.”
“The appeal of a more individual hotel, alongside the reassurance of a name above the door that they trust”
The voco brand aims to offer the ability to drive higher returns by promising a compelling guest experience, and of course, by leveraging IHG’s powerful name and proven systems. This includes the group’s revenue management and technology capabilities, and one of the world’s largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG Rewards Club.
Last month, IHG announced plans to expand its luxury and upscale portfolio in the UK through an agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions). The deal will help establish the presence of voco in the UK, with a number of properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.
Additionally, IHG has confirmed the first signing for the voco brand property outside of Europe – the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-room hotel will soon be acquired by IHG’s long-standing partner, SB&G, which currently owns five other IHG hotels in Australia. The hotel is due to open under the voco brand in late 2018.