InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched Voco, its new upscale hotel brand, alongside a first signing in Australia.
The new brand will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and work with individually and locally-branded hotels to leverage IHG’s systems which includes revenue management and technology capabilities, and will be part of the IHG Rewards Club loyalty programme.
The roll-out of Voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa regions, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time.
The first signing will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia, and is due to open under the Voco flag late this year. The 388-room hotel offers guests two swimming pools and 800m2 of meeting space.
As well, IHG announced last month it was adding 13 UK hotels to its portfolio after signing a deal with Convivio (formerly Foncière des Régions). A number of these properties will join the Voco brand in coming months.
Voco – inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin – will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and strengthen IHG’s offer in the US$40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further US$20 billion by 2025. Voco is also expected to open more than 200 hotels in urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.
IHG said it had identified three “critical moments on the guest journey” through “deep customer insight where Voco can create a compelling guest experience that will differentiate the brand.”
These are Come on in – targeting guests at the beginning of their stay with a “swift and simple check-in” and “unexpected, locally-influenced treat”; Me time – IHG will invest in bedding, bathroom amenities, smart TVs and connectivity; and Voco life – communal spaces that “work for different moments of the day.”
Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, said in a statement: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and Voco will help us deliver against this. 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.”