Dubai: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on Tuesday announced the launch of its new upscale brand “voco”, with the initial hotel openings taking place in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The first hotel will be located in Australia, IHG said in a statement.

Voco will strengthen IHG’s offer in the $40 billion (Dh147 billion) upscale segment, the firm said. The segment is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025.

IHG announced plans last month to expand its luxury and upscale estate in the UK through a conditional agreement with Covivio (formerly Foncière des Régions) to rebrand and operate 12 high quality open hotels and one pipeline hotel into its portfolio across the UK. This deal will establish a presence for voco in the UK with a number of these properties converting to the new brand in the coming months.

The new hotel brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, the company said, with an eye on opening more than 200 voco hotels in “attractive urban and leisure locations” over the next 10 years.

IHG said that voco will focus on “the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.”

In its statement, the company said it was working with high-quality individual and locally-branded hotels to “offer owners the ability to drive higher returns through delivering a compelling guest experience and leveraging IHG’s powerful systems.”