HBAA introduces new Code of Practice

An industry association representing agencies and
venues,
the HBAA, has launched new governance for parties involved in
meeting and accommodation procurement.

A
review of the commercial and ethical protocols between HBAA members, has
resulted in the new Code of Practice for the association.

The
re-evaluation was overseen by Chris Parnham, past Chair of the HBAA, along with
senior representatives from Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Hotels & Resorts UK,
Capita and independent booking agents.

The
Code of Practice overwrites the HBAA’s Code of Conduct and has culminated in a
far-reaching template for business methodology for stakeholders involved in
contracting and implementing accommodation and meeting contracts.

Revisions
to the Code of Practice give agents, accommodation and meeting providers a
template for best practices while providing corporate clients with quality
assurances of the suppliers they are working with. Modifications include:

A
conclusive definition of the financial liability between supplier, intermediary
agent and corporate or association contract holder

Service
level commitment between those involved in the procurement and provision of
accommodation, meetings, conferences and events and corporate

Assurance
to work in a transparent and impartial manner 

Revised
terminology to reflect the changing face of business travel and live events.

Members
of the HBAA are responsible for upwards of £3bn spend on accommodation, meeting
and events each year.

The
HBAA is instigating a long-term marketing campaign with corporate
decision-makers, with the objective that policy-makers and ratifiers use agents
and suppliers who acknowledge and adhere to its Code of Practice. 

Chris
Parnham, past Chair of the HBAA and MD of Absolute Corporate Events, said: “The
Code of Practice is, in reality, due diligence for the accommodation and event
booking sector. There has been limited governance in the wider £39bn business
tourism sector and this Code of Practice, to which all of our members have
committed, gives a strong signal of the HBAA’s commitment to best practice,
integrity and using bona fide suppliers.”

Leigh
Cowlishaw (pictured), vice-chair of the HBAA and director of supplier
partnerships at Capita Travel and Events, added: “The new Code of Practice
is hugely beneficial as it sets business parameters and agrees service levels
between agents, suppliers and corporate. Significantly, from the corporate
buyer’s perspective, it supports the HBAA membership, by asserting
commitment and adherence to ethical and commercial practices in the procurement
of accommodation, meetings and events.”

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Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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