Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
DENHAM, U.K. — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale hotel brand, and it’s already signed its first property in Australia.
Called ‘voco’, meaning ‘to invite’ in Latin, the brand will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and will strengthen IHG’s offer in the US$40 billion upscale segment, which the company says is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025.
Working with high-quality individual and locally-branded hotels, voco will offer a high quality guest experience by incorporating IHG’s systems, including IHG Rewards Club.
The rollout of voco will begin in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, with plans to expand to the Americas and Greater China over time. IHG says it will open more than 200 voco hotels in urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.
Last month, IHG announced plans to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the U.K. through a conditional agreement with Covivio to rebrand and operate 12 hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the U.K. With voco now being rolled out, a number of these properties will be converted to the new brand in the coming months.
Voco’s first signing has already been confirmed outside of Europe: the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise, Australia. The 388-room hotel is located just steps from the beach and offers two swimming pools and 800 square metres of meeting space. It is scheduled to open under the voco flag in late 2018.
“We’ve talked about the significant growth opportunity we see for IHG in upscale and voco will help us deliver against this,” said Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, 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.”
For more information go to vocohotels.com.