A company called CIBT Education Group has purchased a 17-storey luxury hotel in downtown Vancouver with the intention of renovating it into housing for international students. The conversion is just one of several that the company is undertaking: it has 3 similar projects in development with 9 more in the planning stages throughout Vancouver and Richmond. CIBT CEO Toby Chu said that the need for international student housing in Greater Vancouver is desperate given Vancouver’s low vacancy rate. According to figures from 2011, approximately 100,000 foreign students live in the Greater Vancouver area. The renovated Viva Suites hotel will offer 200 beds, a fitness centre, an electronic library, a TV lounge, and a free shuttle service to area institutions. The company will also provide an airport pickup and shuttle service, a hot meal service, IT support, social activities, and academic counselling. Rent will range from $900 to $2,500 per month.