Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new upscale hotel brand called Voco, with its first property set for Australia.

IHG says the new brand will strengthen its offer in the upscale segment, which is estimated to be worth US$60 billion by 2025.

Voco is inspired by the Latin word for ‘to invite’ or ‘to come together’.

The roll-out of the Voco brand will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time. IHG says it plans to open more than 200 Voco properties in urban and leisure locations over the next ten years.

IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale portfolio in the UK through an agreement with Covivio to rebrand and operate 12 hotels and one pipeline property, which will establish a presence for Voco in the UK.

The group says a number of these UK properties will be converting to the new brand “in the coming months”.

IHG has also announced the signing of its first Voco property outside of Europe after striking a deal with the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast in Australia. The 388-room property features two swimming pools and 800sqm of meeting space. It will shortly be acquired by IHG’s partner SB&G and will re-open under the Voco brand in late 2018.

Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, commented: “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.

“With Voco, the recent addition of Regent Hotels & 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.”

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