We all know the Coronavirus pandemic put a swift stop to 2020 schools travelling to Canberra. Mass cancellations lead to many schools rescheduling on top of an already busy 2021 leaving Canberra a little bare for accommodation options.
Approximately 170,000 school children visit the ACT on school excursions each year and accommodation followed by pacer attractions are the first to fill-up. Students have not seen the hallways of parliament house or the last post ceremony in 8 months compared to this time last year where attractions were recording 15-20 busloads of students per day. Canberra forms an integral part of a student’s school career and the need for student specific accommodation grows each year.
Canberra has approximately 20 purpose-built accommodation providers that cater to school groups and it's proving tough to get into some of them as the value and popularity of educational excursions grow and the diversity of programs on offer become richer each year. We first heard about Capital Airport Motel in 2019 located just outside Canberra CBD in Queanbeyan. The new owners have a long history in the education sector and realised the need for school specific accommodation with greater capacities to manage larger groups as well as the small school groups. The Capital Airport Motel promises to deliver some exciting services catering to the needs of both the teachers and students.
Now we don’t want to give away their secrets but just 2 of their offerings include separate teachers’ lounge for meetings and evening inhouse entertainment for students which has been well received by some of our groups thus far. With 240 beds to offer the Capital Airport Motel is already gaining momentum as Canberra’s best student accommodation that offers good quality meals and staff that understand the nature of student excursions and the logistics that go behind making these school camps so successful.
It's a Huge Responsibility!
When teachers take students on camp it’s a huge responsibility and as operators we understand the safety measures that need to be in place and choosing the right accommodation is an important part of designing the whole experience. While there are many accommodation providers it is exciting to hear of this new lodge that ticks many of the “student accommodation must have boxes” Student travel is a unique niche sector and all aspects of duty of care need to be considered for parents, students’ teachers and accommodation providers. It’s refreshing to see this team take note of all the smaller details giving educators peace of mind making any excursion so much more enjoyable for everyone on tour.
In past years there used to be a “low season” period to travel to the National Capital, these days schools are booking 2-3 years in advance, so it is important that you book ahead to ensure your selected accommodation provider is available.