New watermark created in luxury brand launch

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) today launched a new global  hotel brand with the announcement that the Watermark Hotel in Surfers Paradise will be its first Australian signing.

Voco is a full-service, upscale brand rolling out throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East that will operate under the tag “reliably different”.

Named after the Latin word for ‘come together’ or ‘to invite’, the Voco brand aims to combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a globally respected brand.

The Gold Coast property is one of six acquired by SB&G Hotels Group to be run by IHG, including InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, Crowne Plaza Melbourne, Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Crowne Plaza Canberra and Holiday Inn Potts Point in Sydney.

“As a long-standing partner, we are excited to be working with IHG to launch its new global brand in Australia,” said Paul Salter, managing director of SB&G Hotel Group.

“As we expand into Queensland, we look forward to our continued growth with IHG, given the synergies with our existing portfolio of hotels across Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.”.

The Voco brand will focus primarily on conversion opportunities and will strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40-billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025.

Working with individual and locally-branded hotels, it will leverage IHG’s internal systems, such as revenue-management technology and the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program.

“The Voco guest experience will be focused on three “critical moments” identified by IHG through “customer insight”.

They are:

Come on in: A welcome experience consisting of a swift and simple check-in with a locally influenced treat to kick off a guest’s stay.

Me time: Encouraging guests to take a moment for themselves with high-quality beds and bedding, bathroom amenities, aerated showers, smart TVs and connectivity in every room.

Voco life: Sociable bar and lounge spaces that work for different moments of the day so that guests have space to enjoy themselves – from offering coffee to start the day to shareable and classic dishes in the evening.

IHG intends to eventually roll out the brand to The Americas and China, with plans for some 200 Voco hotels to be established worldwide over the next ten years.

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

“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 388-room Voco Gold Coast hotel will open in October following a rebrand and refresh.

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