A warm, sustainable welcome at voco
The recently launched upscale IHG brand – voco – has a strong sustainability ethos.
“voco”, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, aims to combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The brand was launched in June.
The roll-out of voco will begin in IHG’s Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa (EMEAA) region, with plans to take it to the Americas and Greater China over time. The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years. And IHG confirmed the first signing for the voco brand outside of Europe will be the Watermark Hotel & Spa Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia.
One of the things marking the launch out is that sustainability considerations were important to the development of the voco brand and the company is committed to an approach that they know can deliver quality and sustainability at the same time. Through soft and thoughtful touches, voco will be sympathetic to local provenance and communities, as well as the charm of individual properties. The brand’s principal focus will reduce waste, with reduced need for large refurbishments.
Every guest will receive a welcome treat, inspired by the hotel and its location, and the curation of F&B menu items will champion local flavours and tastes. In-room the voco brand will incorporate high-quality features, such as aerated showers, saving water and energy, and enhancing guest experience with improved water pressure.
voco will seek to reduce single-use plastics, moving away from miniature bathroom amenities, and working with the right suppliers to retain quality through larger dispensers. voco will source high-quality bedding made from environmentally-friendly materials. And the introduction of filtered water to rooms and meetings and events spaces will help reduce one-time plastic and glass waste and the cost to owners associated with offering bottled water.
An IHG spokesperson said, “Sustainability is an important part of our approach to developing our new voco brand. We are paying close attention to how we can deliver the brand’s hallmarks sustainably and at the right cost for owners, without compromising on the quality guests expect from an upscale brand.
“We’re honing in on touches such as the shower and sleep experience, and the way we deliver amenities. These are so important to get right for our guests, and we’re looking at really innovative ways to deliver them sustainably and with real quality, with enough flexibility to retain the more individual elements that make existing hotels successful.”