The $40 billion upscale hotel market is rapidly growing, predicted to grow by another $20 billion more by 2025, so it’s not surprising that hotel companies such as InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) are launching new brands in an effort to get a piece of the pie.
Last week, IHG announced its latest hotel brand, voco, which will bring more upscale offerings to meeting planners. IHG plans to work with individual and locally branded hotels to cater to the demand for high-end experiences, especially popular among corporate groups. The voco name comes from the Latin meaning “to invite” or “to come together,” as the hotel brand will combine the charm of an individual hotel with a global brand by emphasizing the importance of three guest experiences: a signature welcome experience, comforting solo experiences and vibrant sociable spaces and experiences.
“We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale, and voco will help us deliver against this,” says Keith Barr, CEO of IHG. “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 brand will focus mainly on conversion opportunities, beginning with properties in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) market, followed by the Americas and Greater China over time. The plan is to open 200 voco hotels in popular urban and leisure destinations over the next 10 years. The first voco-branded hotels will open in the United Kingdom in the coming months as part of an agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions). After that, the next voco property will be the rebranding of Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast in Australia’s Surfers Paradise. The 388-room property features two swimming pools and 8,611-sf of meeting space. It is expected to be rebranded before the year’s end.