IHG unveils upscale brand 'voco', aims to open 200 voco hotels in 10 years

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has unveiled a new upscale hotel brand named voco which will roll out in IHG's Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa region, with the first signing in Australia.

Inspired by the meaning "to invite" or to "come together" in Latin, voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities where IHG will work with property developers of existing hotels to convert their brand names to the voco name. Working with locally-branded hotels, the voco brand will aim to offer owners the ability to drive higher returns, through guest experiences and on leveraging IHG's systems.

This includes revenue management, technology capabilities and the IHG Rewards Club. The move is in a bid to strengthen IHG's offer in the US$40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further US$20 billion by 2025. IHG expects Voco to drive "significant" incremental growth and aims to open over 200 voco hotels in urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years. IHG plans to roll out the brand in Greater China and the Americas over time.

In a statement to Marketing, IHG's spokesperson said that voco is positioned to appeal to both business and leisure travelers, as well as being supportive to hotels with strong local food and beverage, banqueting and events business. The spokesperson declined to comment further on voco's marketing strategies and who will be leading the marketing team. IHG is currently working with Ogilvy.


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

“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," Barr added.

In March this year, IHG acquired a 51% stake in Regent Hotels and Resorts for US$39 million in cash. IHG will have the right to acquire the remaining 49% interest in a phased manner from 2026. The move sees IHG bringing Regent into its luxury brand portfolio and will accelerate its growth globally, with the intention to grow the brand from six hotels today to over 40 hotels in key global gateway city and resort locations in the long run.

IHG’s spokesperson told Marketing then that there will be no key personnel changes. The spokesperson added that despite Regent’s relatively limited footprint, it has good brand awareness in key markets, especially in Asia Pacific and China.

(Read also: IHG says 2017 was its strongest performing year since 2010)