UBC Conferences & Accommodation (C&A) provides conference services and short-term hotel accommodation at both our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Each summer C&A hosts 20-30 academic conferences, plus hundreds of summer groups and camps. Annually, 150,000 room nights are booked. Additionally, they create hundreds of jobs for students every summer.
C&A had a very successful summer this year. We asked Allan De Jong a few questions about what made it great, what he’s looking forward to next summer, and a bit about what’s happening in the industry.
Q: We understand that it was C&A’s best summer ever. What made it such a great season?
A: The success of staff efforts to open Cedar House at Ponderosa Commons as a hotel property and the amazing amount of visitors and delegates that stayed in Cedar house made the summer great. Overall, staff rose to the challenge of several massive short term bookings. Plus, total room nights and revenue during the summer were record breaking.
Q: What’s coming up next year? How are the new websites affecting next year’s bookings?
A: Orchard house is opening in late-June 2017 and group bookings are strong for this and other properties. The growth of university programs aimed at high school age international students is impressive and will have a substantial impact on Vanier. The new websites provide potential clients greater clarity about our products and services and are a key part of our growth strategy.
Q: Can you tell us about a few industry trends that are important for C&A?
A: The continued growth of third-party booking channels as a portion of business requires stronger relationships with channel representatives and ongoing channel page management. Online travel ratings and reviews drive perceived value of hotel product online and create greater pressure to improve product and service offerings. The low Canadian dollar is expected to drive American tourists North, and the clampdown on Vancouver Airbnb supply may increase hotel demand.
Overall stay was very enjoyable. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and the room itself was great. Location, although a little further than I would’ve liked from downtown, it was still really easy to get around everywhere – downtown, Richmond, and west side Vancouver. Parking was easy too. …the price was great, the room was really clean, and my overall stay was very very enjoyable. – Ponderosa Studios review from Expedia.com