IHG Hotels & Resorts’ premium voco Hotels brand has officially reached the milestone of 50 signed and open hotels in more than 20 countries across the globe—marking IHG’s fastest ever global expansion, according to the company.
After debuting with its first signing and opening in Australia in 2018, voco Hotels entered IHG’s largest markets in the U.S. and China in late 2020, with new properties now open in New York and Hangzhou. Its milestone 50th signing, voco Brisbane City Centre in Australia, is set to open its doors later this year.
Thanks in part to its ease of conversion, the voco brand is attracting widespread interest from owners looking to convert hotels, maximize returns and benefit from IHG’s global scale, technology platforms and IHG Rewards loyalty program, according to the company. Amid the pandemic, in 2020, IHG reported an increase in conversion activity with 25% of the company’s signings reported as conversions—and 13% of those for the voco brand. The brand’s versatility also continues to evolve, with the first all-suites property signed in Doha, Qatar, and its first new-build properties: one now open in Edinburgh, Scotland, and another opening in Nanjing, China, later this year.
“With the ability to hold onto the informality and charm of an independent hotel, paired with the quality and reassurance of a respected global brand, our voco Hotels brand has seen extraordinary growth since launching in Australia only two and a half years ago,” said Jane Mackie, SVP, global marketing, luxury & upscale brands, IHG. “With its entry into the U.S. and China last year, we anticipate significant growth potential for the voco brand and its unique offer for owners and guests. By focusing on and celebrating each hotel’s individual spirit and character, we make it easier and faster for owners to move from signing to opening, providing a real advantage in today’s market.”
As the global expansion of voco continues, IHG is tracking well against its growth goal of 200 voco hotels in urban and leisure locations around the globe within 10 years.
Some of the voco brand’s key upcoming openings:
Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA)
The brand recently launched in Scotland with the openings of voco Grand Central in Glasgow and voco Edinburgh—Haymarket. It is also set to debut in The Netherlands, Italy and Germany, with the planned openings of voco The Hague and voco in Milan later this year, as well as voco Frankfurt in 2022. The new openings will join a strong portfolio of voco hotels in Europe across the U.K., France, Austria and Montenegro. The brand’s Paris hotel, voco Paris Montparnasse, which was signed and opened in 2020, has reported double-digit increases in guest satisfaction post-conversion. Growth for the brand continues across the Middle East with the signing of voco Jeddah North in Saudi Arabia announced in December 2020 and the first all-suites for voco signed in Doha, Qatar. And, when it opens later this year, voco Johannesburg Rosebank in South Africa will be the first voco property on the African continent. In Australia, voco Gold Coast and voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley were among the first to join the collection. Five more voco properties are due to open in Australasia over the coming years, including the brand’s 50th signing, voco Brisbane City Centre, as well as properties in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland. The brand will make its debut in Vietnam soon with the voco Ma Belle Danang property, located next to the beachfront along the main thoroughfare of the coastal city.
In 2020, following the brand’s launch in the region, the 148-room voco Hangzhou Binjiang Minghao was signed and opened in just over two months. IHG’s first voco signing in Wuhan is also a conversion property, which will be officially opened as voco Wuhan Xinhua this year after renovations are complete. China will also open two voco hotels in Nanjing this year—one is a new-build property located in the Garden Expo; the other one is converted from the heritage Nanjing Oriental Pearl Hotel.
Just a few months after announcing the first locations for the Americas last year, the first voco hotel in the U.S.—voco The Franklin New York—opened in November 2020. The next voco hotel to open in the U.S. this year is expected to be voco The Tiger in Columbia, MO, next to the University of Missouri.