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Expansion of voco brand will strengthen IHG’s eco-credentials, says GlobalData

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The ever-expanding premium hotel brand voco is showing no signs of slowing down, having announced in July that it is bringing its eco-friendly hotels to locations such as Chicago, the Gyeonggi-do province in Korea, Albania and Dubai. Leading data and analytics company GlobalData notes that the upscale hotel market is expected to gain some of the ground lost in 2020, and voco’s focus on environmental sustainability will strengthen IHG’s eco credentials.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Upscale hotels took a beating in 2020, but this looks to be turning around. In the UAE, for example, GlobalData predicts that the occupancy rate for upscale hotels will increase from 63% in 2020 to 75.3% in 2021. This is promising for IHG and voco’s expansion strategy, which includes this as a key area.”

At the voco Gold Coast, and many other voco properties, each duvet is made from 150 plastic bottles. Its bed linen has also been approved by the ‘100% Better Cotton’ initiative, contributing to the sustainable harvesting of cotton. At voco The Hague, the hotel’s garden terrace was designed by an expert ecologist.

Hollister continues: “The consistent theme of sustainability in voco properties will meet the growing need for responsible options from travelers, which should help voco to increase its market share as travel recovers. According to a survey by GlobalData*, 42% of global respondents are influenced by the extent to which a product or service is environmentally friendly/responsible.

“Making voco a potential leader in the theme of sustainability will also boost IHG’s eco-credentials. According to GlobalData’s lodging thematic scorecard, IHG scores a 4 in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) theme. Competitors such as Hilton and Accor score a 5 (the maximum score), illustrating that these two companies have a competitive edge over IHG in terms of sustainability. The rapid expansion of voco could soon create a level playing field for IHG, allowing for an even stronger recovery in the immediate years after the pandemic.”

*GlobalData’s Q1 2021 Consumer Survey, ‘often’ or ‘always’ responses combined