Hoteliers and hotel agents vented their frustrations with
buyers at the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) Annual Forum, accusing
them of being unhelpful.
A Crystal Interactive live poll of more than 300 delegates at
the Ramada Manchester Piccadilly found that 92 per cent thought a lack of
detail on client/agency briefs was a common failing.
Some complained that buyers would not reveal the name of the
client making it difficult to pitch properly.
Marc Danton, national account manager for Marriott Hotels, speaking on the panel, said
hoteliers must work harder to get information. “We shouldn’t be looking at it
as a ‘them and us’ situation, take a bit of leadership and work together,” he
However, a further 74 per cent of the delegates claimed that
agencies didn’t give enough energy to relationships with venues and 92 per cent
thought buyers should take more responsibility for relationship breaks downs.
Fay Sharpe, managing director of Zibrant, who was also on
the panel, agreed: “It’s really important agencies give more time to hotels and
suppliers. It’s a three-way relationship.”
However, she added that hoteliers could do more to
understand the needs of buyers: “Those hotel groups that think thoughtfully
about how we want to work, what’s appropriate for our agency and approach in a
strategic way get a lot more from us. We have a model relationship with
Sharpe encouraged the suppliers to work on relationships
with key players: “Consolidation will take place through agencies so there’s a
huge opportunity for the venue community to engage and make sure they get that relationship.”