New ratings system for academic venues

The English Tourism Council (ETC) has developed a rating system for campus accommodation at universities and colleges. The standards have been developed following consultation with the industry and cover areas such as staff efficiency and catering standards. Accommodation will be assessed on quality and facilities using a one- to five-star rating. Universities are a popular choice of venue for organisers with a more limited budget. "The new standards are an important step and will give buyers more confidence in their choice of campus accommodation," said David Stanbridge, the ETC’s head of quality. Assessment for rating the accommodation began in August with Nottingham University already reported to have signed up. Venuemasters, the body representing 96 academic venues targeting meetings, welcomes the scheme. "This initiative will raise standards across the sector," said David Walkden, the body’s marketing communications manager. (See Academic Venues, page 47)

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