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March 29, 2009

European meetings industry association condemns lack of transparency on Day Delegate Rates

Members of the HBAA expressed their disapproval of hotels including non-VAT elements in their day delegate rates (DDR), at the association’s quarterly meeting held recently  in Ascot.
Hotel booking agents are seeing an increase of non-VAT items on DDRs provided by some UK hotels. While this pricing technique allows hotels to maximise their yield management, longer term it makes rates more expensive for the end user.
Commenting on this issue, Rebecca Forbes, operations director for Right Location Corporate Services, said: “Venues should offer a transparent pricing structure, which should clearly show any elements of day rates or 24-hour conference package rates that are VAT exempt.

“It is becoming increasingly common for venues to maximise their revenue by quoting a VAT inclusive rates and then allocating up to 33% of a package price to room hire that is VAT exempt. This can produce some nasty surprises for a corporate client who is expecting to reclaim the VAT and assumes all rates quoted to be fully VAT-able.”
Meanwhile, HBAA chairman Steve Ockerby, commented: “As an association of booking agents we, and our corporate clients, find unacceptable the way that some UK hotels process their charges.

“One of our main objectives is to promote best practice and professionalism in the industry and we see hotels and venues following this pricing technique as detrimental in the battle for transparency in our industry.”

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