IHG Launches New Upscale Hotel Brand 'Voco'

by Jessica Montevago
IHG Launches New Upscale Hotel Brand 'Voco'

IHG announced voco, its new upscale hotel brand, alongside its first signing in Australia.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) introduced a new upscale hotel brand called "voco" on Tuesday.

The brand’s first signing will be the 388-room Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia. The property is shortly 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.

Voco – meaning "to invite" or "to come together" in Latin – will then roll out across IHG's Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to expand the brand to the Americas and Greater China “over time.” In addition, several of the 13 high-end hotels IHG added in the U.K. – through an agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) – will be converted to the new brand in the coming months.

InterContinental Hotels Group IHG Luxury UK Hotels
IHG entered an agreement with Covivio in May to rebrand and operate 13 luxury and upscale hotels in the UK.

IHG expects to open more than 200 voco hotels in urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years. Voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities, working with “high-quality individual and locally branded” hotels.

“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,” said CEO Keith Barr. “The versatility of the brand, means a voco hotel can retain and celebrate all of the elements that make that existing hotel successful.”

Though hotels will maintain their individuality, three critical moments “will differentiate the brand and can be consistently applied across a broad range of individual properties,” he said. They are:

  • Come on in: A signature welcome experience, swift and simple check-in with an unexpected, locally influenced treat to kick off a guest's stay.
  • Me time: Encouraging guests to take a moment for themselves with extra cozy beds and bedding, quality bathroom amenities, rejuvenating aerated showers, a variety of viewing content on smart TVs, and excellent connectivity in every room.
  • Voco life: Vibrant and sociable bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day, from offering a great coffee to start the day or shareable and classic dishes in the evening.

IHG has been looking to strengthen its foothold in the upscale and luxury markets. During the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, Barr said he saw an opportunity for an upscale brand that offers guests something “other than the traditional big-box hotel.” 

"We've talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale, and voco will help us deliver against this,” Barr said in a statement. The $40 billion upscale segment is expected to grow by $20 billion by 2025.

"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 added.

Tip of the Day
The professional travel advisor’s job is to equip the traveler with the necessary information to enable a good decision that will reflect that person’s own risk tolerance.
Paul Ruden
Daily Top List

Most Powerful Passports in the World

1. United Arab Emirates

2. Singapore

3. Germany

4. Denmark

5. Sweden

Source: Passport Index


How Will You Give Back This Year?

Learn from travel advisors who are positively impacting tourism through their sustainable travel efforts and empowering their clients to do the same. 

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Allianz Report Says Holiday Travel is Up Fifteen Percent
Allianz Report Says Holiday Travel is Up Fifteen Percent

New York City and Cancun topped the list of most popular domestic and international destinations during the holiday season.

Luxury Meal Plans Up the Ante at All-Inclusive Resorts
Luxury Meal Plans Up the Ante at All-Inclusive Resorts

It’s not your grandfather’s all-inclusive resort any more, as Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Disney and luxury properties add upscale food-and-beverage plans.  

Hertz and CLEAR Partner on 30-Second Car Rental
Hertz and CLEAR Partner on 30-Second Car Rental

A new service promises to get customers out the rental car exit gate using only biometrics, in less than 30 seconds.

Worldview Tours Suddenly Ceases Operations
Worldview Tours Suddenly Ceases Operations

After 40 years of doing business on the up-and-up, it was a shock to those who had worked with the company to see it go under.

What to Know About Navigating Marriott’s Massive Data Breach
What to Know About Navigating Marriott’s Massive Data Breach

Facing extensive costs as a result of the breach, Marriott is offering to pay for customers’ new passports and annual identity monitoring subscriptions.

Anchorage Assesses Damage After Powerful Quake
Anchorage Assesses Damage After Powerful Quake

The scenic Glenn Highway was the hardest hit during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Friday.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck