HBAA aims to win 20% more agency members

The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) attracted a record attendance to its annual dinner last week (10 January) and said it would be looking to boost its agency membership by a fifth in 2014.

The association considers the event, hosted this year at London’s Novotel West, the social highlight of its events calendar.

HBAA Chair Chris Parnham, presided over the evening, which included entertainment from The Globe Girls, along with a set of West End musicals performed by The Westenders.

A specially devised version of TV hit Pointless brought a competitive edge to the evening.

The annual presentation of The Tim Gasson Memorial Award was made to Stephen Usher. The award, which recognises outstanding contribution and promotion of the association, is named after former HBAA Chair and founding member, Tim Gasson, who died tragically in 2007.

The occasion also saw a generous donation made to the Chairman’s Charity, The Make a Difference Trust. Monies were raised through both the online auction and contributions on the night and will go to help support people living with HIV and AIDS.  

“The HBAA annual dinner is a personal highlight and with membership at an all-time high, it is great to see so many members and sponsors under one roof,” said Parnham. “My first year in the post has been an amazing experience and all of the committees have strived to make positive changes for our members and future talent. I am thrilled to be able to continue the work I’ve started and to keep driving HBAA as a definitive voice of the industry into 2014 and beyond.”    

Juliet Price, Executive Director of the HBAA, said: “Stephen Usher is a very-deserved winner of the Tim Gasson Award. The longstanding drive and commitment shown by Stephen in all aspects of his roles has been a real asset to the HBAA and it’s great to recognise his achievements tonight in front of the membership.”

The HBAA said it was targetting a further 20 per cent increase in agent membership, while producing more training opportunities for members and widening collaborative opportunities.

The HBAA’s members boast an annual buying power in excess of £2.3bn per annum.

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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