IHG launches Voco

InterContinental Hotels Group has revealed its new upscale brand Voco with the signing of an inaugural Australian property. Focusing primarily on conversion opportunities and working with locally branded hotels, Voco seeks to offer owners the ability to drive higher returns through compelling guest experiences and the integration of IHG’s management, technological and rewards systems.

Named after the Latin word for ‘invite’, Voco is billed as a combination of the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global brand. The roll-out of Voco will begin in IHG’s EMEAA region, with plans to take it to the Americas and China shortly after. IHG expects to open over 200 Voco hotels in urban and leisure locations over the next decade.

Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, comments: “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.”

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 UK hotels and one pipeline hotel. This deal will establish a presence for Voco in the country, with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.

IHG has also confirmed the first signing for the Voco brand outside of Europe with Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-key hotel is located a few steps away from the beach, and offers guests two swimming pools and 800m² of meeting space. The property is to 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 flag in late 2018.

“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,” Barr adds.

Voco has further outlined three critical elements, identified through customer insight, through which voco will seek to create a compelling guest experience, differentiate the brand, and can be consistently applied across a broad range of individual properties: ‘Come on in’ is a signature welcome experience featuring a swift and simple check-in with locally influenced treats to kick off a stay; ‘Me time’ encourages guests to take a moment for themselves with speciality beds and bedding, bathroom amenities and a variety of viewing content on Smart TVs; whilst ‘Voco life’ incorporates bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day.