IHG Launches New Upscale Conversion Brand Called Voco

Date: June 2018…Updated July 2018

Location: The roll-out of Voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time.

Name: Voco….IHG said the name is inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin and will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.

Where Will It Start:  Some of the 12 UK upscale hotels recently acquired through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) will be converted to Voco properties.

Covivio’s deal with Starwood Capital Group to buy 14 hotels in the United Kingdom included the Principal London, which most likely will see InterContinental Hotels Group’s Kimpton brand make its debut in the U.K. …or will it be a Voco?

News just in:

The flagship Principal London in Russell Square will become the capital’s first Kimpton Hotel later this year, while the Principal Manchester will rebrand to Kimpton in 2019, along with the Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square and the Principal Blythswood Square Hotel in Glasgow.

Marking the Voco Hotels debut in the UK, the Principal St David’s Hotel in Cardiff will rebrand later this year. Further Voco properties are expected to be announced soon.

The Principal Met Leeds Hotel will also rebrand in 2020 under the Hotel Indigo umbrella.

Meanwhile, De Vere Wotton House near Dorking will operate unbranded as Wotton House.

Voco will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and will strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40bn (£29.8bn) upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20bn (£14.9bn) by 2025.

The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 Voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

Keith Barr, chief executive officer, IHG, said: “We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and Voco will help us deliver against this. 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.”

THPT Comment: Keith Barr, CEO of IHG added: “With Voco, the recent addition of Regent Hotels and 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.” – they are certainly doing that!

Today (June 18th 2018), IHG has confirmed the first signing for the Voco brand outside of Europe will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia.

The 388-room hotel is located at the heart of Surfers Paradise, a few steps away from the beach, and offers guests two swimming pools and 800sqm of meeting space.

The property is shortly to be acquired by IHG’s long-standing partner, SB&G, which currently owns other IHG hotels in Australia (Holiday Inn Potts Point in Sydney, Crowne Plaza Canberra, Crowne Plaza Coogee, CP Melbourne, InterContinental Rilato in Melbourne).

SB&G also own the Marriott Hotel Brooklyn in New York, Dallas Hotel in North Dallas as well as other commercial and residential properties.

The hotel is due to open under the voco flag in late 2018.

First Seen: HotelOwner