Raising the bar

• IHG has certainly approached 2018 with all guns blazing. The launch of the new Voco brand adds an upscale conversion brand, an area where the company had a gap in its portfolio of flags.

As IHG CEO Keith Barr 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.”

The group has set an ambitious target of more than 200 Voco properties within 10 years, and with the recent deal IHG signed with FDR to lease 13 properties from the former Principal portfolio – some of which are likely to end up with Voco branding, others as Kimptons – it has adopted a change of tack  and set its sights on a serious move in the upscale space.

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