International Charter to unite event venues and booking agents

The Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) has launched an International Charter to improve links between UK hotel booking agents (HBAs) and international event venues.

The charter will show how international venues and hotels can benefit from the UK agencies’ buying power, said to exceed more than £2.3 billion, detailing measures such as the procurement of meetings and events to booking business accommodation.

It will introduce industry standard practices for enquiry response times, commission levels and payment terms, reports Air and Business Travel News.

The document should help HBAs and other tourism agencies infiltrate “key” outbound markets in Europe, the Middle East and North America, says the HBBA.

Steve Ockerby, chair of the International Charter Committee comments: “We have been delighted with the amount of interest that overseas venues have shown.

“Everyone recognises that meetings and events are no longer confined purely to the UK and that a working practice needed to be put in place to clarify and strengthen the relationships between UK HBAs and overseas hotels and venues,” he said on

The charter was created in response to demand from UK business booking agencies and its supporters are already experiencing positive effects.

Robbert-Jan Meinardi, area sales director at Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, in the Netherlands was one of the first to sign up to the charter. He said he did this because he saw the potential for “huge demand and revenues from the UK outbound market”.

Meinardi said: “This is a very important development for the [hospitality] sector and especially the HBAA and Europe’s hoteliers.

“Since adhering to the Charter it has paid dividends and we have already seen 70,000 Euros of confirmed business from a large corporate, had we not signed the charter we would not have been considered by the agency.”