The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has highlighted 'the good, the bad and the ugly' of the industry in its first 15 years, says executive director Peter Ducker. The industry has come a long way in terms of transparency and professionalism since the association's formation, he told meetpie.com.
HBAA there was nowhere for hotel booking agents to get together. Its formation
coincided with the commercialisation of the internet and the spread of people
booking online. Many of the travel management companies were beginning to look
at hotel and meeting space – many of them are still dancing around their
handbags about it. Now I think everyone understands the HBAA’s value and
“It is a
deregulated sector, so a code of conduct was massively important to
differentiate the good, the bad and the ugly.”
believes that the industry is going to evolve further still, as strategic
meetings management becomes more commonplace.
to be transparency. The days of agents saying they offer a free service are
long gone. The buying community is becoming far more professional in the way it
procures meetings and events. It has been like that with transient travel but M&E
has tended to slip through the net. It’s good for agencies because they deliver
value and it is good for venues as they can engage sensibly, not randomly.
There’s an ongoing need to support that trend.”
development will also be important for the sector’s growth, Ducker predicts: “As
an industry we need to do more to retain more talent. Hospitality is no longer
the career of last resort or what you do while waiting for a grown up job.”
Annual Forum takes place at Radisson Blu Stansted Airport Hotel, September 6-7.
Pictured: Peter Ducker