Hostel lure for international students

Site work has begun for a new accommodation block to house 50 Southern Institute of Technology students at its Remarkables Park campus in Queenstown.

Institute chief executive Penny Simmonds told The Southland Times yesterday the multimillion-dollar accommodation block would be a key point in a marketing strategy to attract foreign students to the resort campus.

"The accommodation block will allow us to target international students . . . we deliberately hadn't done that international marketing until we got them accommodation to offer them a whole package," she said. "It's primarily for international students but will be available for domestic students as well.

"Because of Queenstown's desirable location we are anticipating lots of interest, and have undertaken preliminary work with our off-shore agents that indicates that," Ms Simmonds said.

The marketing campaign would emphasise the physical growth of the Queenstown campus, including the new accommodation options, as well as the growing number of courses available there.

A new diploma course in hotel and tourism management, which had been successful at the Invercargill campus and through the institute's long-distance learning programme, will begin at the Queenstown campus in July.

The accommodation block, which is only four days into construction, is slated to be open by early next year.

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief executive Ann Lockhart said the accommodation block and the institute's marketing campaign could only be good for Queenstown. "The chamber sees education as a significant growth sector in Queenstown and SIT has taken an innovative approach to including accommodation in their marketing strategy to offshore students."