In its three years since entering the Chinese market, voco hotels has experienced noteworthy growth, capitalizing on the existing hotel market and demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability through the lens of art to provide an enjoyable and sustainable travel experience.
Xi’an, China – voco hotels, a premium hotel brand under the IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) recently celebrated its third anniversary in the Greater China market at voco Xi’an Economic and Technological Development Zone (ETDZ). The milestone occasion attracted over 160 hotel owners, industry experts, and influential media to commemorate this significant achievement. IHG organized a series of vibrant activities during the celebration, ranging from brand showcase events that allowed attendees to immerse in the brand’s story, guiding philosophy, investment model, and innovative sustainability solutions, to a Xi’an city wall bike tour.
Alongside the celebration, voco hotels hosted a time-limited ‘Sustainability & Art’ exhibition, culminating in a four-month Young Artist Sponsor Program. This initiative extends the brand’s core philosophy, emphasizing the harmonious integration of sustainable development and art. Five emerging young Chinese artists were enlisted to create art pieces using recycled materials, emphasizing the connection between environmental preservation and artistic expression. The art exhibition at the voco Hotel in Xi’an ETDZ is open to the public and is aimed at inspiring consumers to adopt a lifestyle centered on ecological consciousness.
Sustainability & Art: Advocating Environmental Conservation and Creativity
In response to the hotel industry’s growing emphasis on sustainable development and ESG strategies, voco has committed to advocating and implementing sustainable practices since its inception. The ‘Sustainability & Art’ series, now in its third year, is a testament to the brand’s dedication to promoting green and environmentally friendly practices. Through these events, voco engages and encourages guests to embrace eco-friendly travel. These initiatives align with IHG’s commitment to sustainable development under the ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ program, promoting responsible travel experiences.
Florence Hu, Chief Marketing Officer, IHG Greater China, said, “The voco Hotels Young Artist Sponsor Program is a visionary initiative, seamlessly blending artistic creativity with environmental conservation. By transforming discarded items into art, the program bridges the gap between art and life, raising public awareness of environmental issues. This underscores IHG’s unwavering commitment to sustainable development and bringing joy to every guest’s journey through high-quality and comprehensive brand experiences. This commitment mirrors IHG’s dedication to propelling innovation and sustainable development, reinforcing our ambition to set industry standards in green and sustainable practices.”
The Young Artist Sponsor Program, a collaboration between the voco hotels, the Donghua Think Tank Cultural and Creative Industry Research Institute, and WeArt, features the artistic contributions of five collaborative artists: Yu Wenjie, Ye Fan, Ouyang Sulong, Zhang Yihan, and E5 (Wen Bin). The artists centered their work around the creative themes of ‘Future, Regeneration, Space, Time, and Fragment,’ conveying environmental conservation messages using discarded materials like woven items, abandoned wood, recycled newspapers, rubber, and plastic bottles. The resulting exhibition allows guests to explore diverse sensory experiences and appreciate unique environmental art.
As a practitioner of ecotourism, voco insists on beginning with the minutest of details, from its 100 percent recycled pillow and duvet fillings, to utilizing a distinctive spinning and blowing method. The brand chooses refillable, plant-based bathroom amenities to minimize plastic waste and the impact on natural ecosystems. High-pressure showers deliver a premium bathing experience while simultaneously conserving water and reducing energy consumption. Furthermore, voco opts for biodegradable takeout coffee cups over traditional disposable cups to encourage guests to embrace an environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Three Years in China Fosters Rapid Sustainable Growth
Founded in 2018, the voco hotels elevates owner returns and guest experiences by revitalizing high-quality standalone hotels or new projects. Emphasizing green and sustainable principles and offering a variety of flexible collaboration models, the brand has quickly ascended to become one of IHG’s fastest-growing brands. In 2020, the voco brand made a successful entry into the Chinese market. More recently, IHG expanded the franchise model to voco, making it the fifth brand under the IHG umbrella in Greater China to offer this option, thereby providing partners with a diversified range of investment opportunities.
The “Opinions on Further Revitalizing Existing Assets to Expand Effective Investment,” released by the General Office of the China State Council last year, strongly emphasizes the need to focus efforts on key areas and critical enterprises for revitalizing existing assets. Specifically, the policy targets assets within established hotels and catering, opening up a new frontier with substantial investment potential within the Chinese hotel inventory market.
voco’s ability to transform existing assets flexibly and efficiently offers IHG a strategic edge in navigating untapped opportunities within the hotel inventory market. The group capitalizes on its proficiency in risk management, scalable cost reduction, market analysis and forecasting, targeted hotel support, member systems, and distribution channels, among other strategic areas.
Consumers’ decision-making factors when choosing a hotel revolve around seamless check-in processes, inviting environments, immersive cultural experiences, and human-centered facilities and services. During hotel renovations, voco strategically incorporates brand-specific design elements in art, linens, furniture, and mascots. The brand’s three hallmarks – ‘come on in,’ ‘me time,’ and ‘voco life’ – are woven into the hotels’ DNA. From a swift check-in and a locally inspired welcome treat upon arrival to big, comfy beds and vibrant bar and restaurant spaces, voco brings a distinctive charm to every stay. Dining options are curated to offer a blend of leisure and diversity while catering to local consumption demands.
Kent Sun, Chief Development Officer, IHG China, remarked, ” Over the past three years, voco hotels has swiftly garnered recognition in the Chinese market. With its distinctive brand identity and unwavering commitment to sustainable development, voco has become a dynamic addition to our brand portfolio, effectively catering to the needs of segmented tourism. In the ever-changing landscape of revitalizing existing hotel assets in Greater China, voco has positioned itself as a solution for rapid conversion, simplifying the process for owners of high-quality, independent hotels to seamlessly integrate into the IHG system. This expedites the swift entry of high-quality, independent hotels onto the IHG platform, accelerating property upgrades. As voco celebrates its third anniversary in Greater China, we believe that endless opportunities lie ahead, ensuring stronger brand growth in the future “