The University of Kent is on track to provide 200,000 bed nights to visitors to Canterbury staying on its campus in 2018, providing a major boost for the economy of the city and the wider county.
Summer 2018 has proved an especially popular year for overseas visitors to Canterbury thanks in part to beneficial currency exchange rates for European visitors. This has meant that bookings from European tour groups at the University grew 15% and accounted for 30% of all B&B bookings on the Canterbury campus.
These bookings included 150 tour groups from Germany, 15 cycling groups from the Netherlands and groups from Belgium and France who visited for everything from cricket matches to walking tours, among other specialist activities.
For European tour operators the University campus and accommodation is particularly attractive thanks to an average satisfaction rating of between 8.3 and 8.5 on Booking.com and ample free parking for coaches.
The accommodation is provided to visitors during periods when it is not in use by students during Easter and summer vacations.
The accommodation has also been rated at between four and five stars by Visit England and the AA, with the University retaining this rating following the most recent inspection in September.
Kevin Stuckey, director of commercial services at the University, said: ‘It is fantastic to see the University is such a popular and well-regarded accommodation location for visitors to Canterbury. This also has a huge benefit to the local economy of the city and surrounding areas.’
The quality of the University’s accommodation offering has been acknowledged by the travel industry for many years, having won the Best University Accommodation for groups at the Group Travel Organiser’s Awards for the past 11 years.