IHG launched voco in June 2018 to take advantage of conversion opportunities. The brand will aim to expand IHG's offer in the upscale segment, which according to the British group generates $40 billion and is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025.
What is voco?
The new IHG brand, inaugurated in June 2018, aims to focus on hotel conversions.
The term voco is inspired by "invite" or "gather" in Latin, and aims to combine "the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand."
Three critical moments in the guest journey have been identified to differentiate the brand:
- 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
- voco life: vibrant and sociable bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day
What are the deployment objectives?
The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to expand in the Americas and Greater China. The brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels over the next 10 years.
Last month, IHG announced plans to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions). 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.
Today, IHG has confirmed the signing of Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast (388 rooms), Surfers Paradise in Australia. The property is to be acquired by IHG’s partner, SB&G, which currently owns five other IHG hotels in the country. The hotel is due to open in late 2018. On October 11, the British group announced its third project in Australia; the Melbourne Central voco will be developed with Brady Group in a skyscraper under construction and will have 252 rooms.
Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, commented at the brand's inauguration: "We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this […] 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."
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