CIBT Subsidiary Investment Group Acquires Luxury Hotel in Downtown Vancouver

February 7, 2015


Downtown Vancouver is about to get a major infusion of accommodations for international students.

On Friday, January 30 2015,  CIBT Education Group with an offshore partner has purchased the 17-storey Viva Suites luxury hotel in downtown Vancouver and will convert it to accommodations for international students, the education provider announced this afternoon. The residence will provide more than 200 beds and will be the first of its type in Vancouver, representing a total investment of $37M, including renovations. It’s the first acquisition for the company’s planned Global Education City Network, a long-term investment in housing and services for international students in Greater Vancouver.

Vancouver continues to grow as an international education centre with approximately 150 schools including private and public universities, colleges and high schools.

Based on data from 2011, approximately 100,000 foreign students are living in the Greater Vancouver area contributing over $5 billion in tuition revenue to the B.C economy. Total housing revenue generated by these international students is estimated to be over $1 billion per year, an average of $10,000 per student per year.

When completed, the suites will be fully furnished and equipped with kitchens. Building amenities will include a fitness centre, electronic library, TV lounge and free shuttle bus to schools near major Vancouver intersections. Other services pioneered by CIBT include international student airport pickup and shuttle bus service, private tutoring, daily hot meal service, weekend social activities, IT support, and academic counselling.

CIBT owns Sprott Shaw College, Ascenda School of Management, numerous business and ESL colleges in China and Global Education Alliance providing international student referral and related services to more than 100 public and private educational institutions in Canada and the U.S.

For example, the 150 international students studying at Acsenda in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour are generally looking for accommodations for two to three years. International students at the business college come from more than 20 countries, with the largest representation coming from China, Korea and India.

Current options available to students in the downtown area include homestay placements that range from $800-$1,200 per month. Homestays are usually Canadian families that rent a room to an international student.

The new suites at Viva fill an important need for Vancouver’s international students. It can be difficult for schools to properly screen homestays and have them available on short notice when a student is ready to arrive in Vancouver. It’s even harder to fulfill students’ special requests such as a private bathroom, special dietary needs or a larger room.

Shared and solo apartments are another option for students. However availability is slim especially in the summer months leading up to the start of a new school year. Downtown rentals range from $900-$2,500 per month depending on the building, amenities and location.

View the fully furnished luxury suites here:

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