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June 16, 2008

HBAA’s international influence grows

Reflecting increasing international demand for its services, the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) held its first international meeting in Ireland towards the end of May. 

As the association asserts its presence within European venues and hotels, its international membership has increased year on year by 26%, with recent additions including the Grand Hotel Huster Duin in Amsterdam. 

The meeting in Dublin brought together some of Ireland's pre-eminent operators, such as the prestigious Carton House and Guinness Storehouse, along with hotel booking agents whose global reach has helped drive demand for membership by European hoteliers and venues.   

"One of the association's objectives is to promote best practice for those involved in the procurement and provision of accommodation, meetings, conferences and events,” said HBAA chair Sue Burgess. “With so many corporates consolidating their meeting and event expenditure, it was inevitable that the huge overseas spend became an area of focus for booking agents. As a result, this has led to greater awareness and demand for HBAA membership from international partners."

Commenting on the HBAA’s growing reputation outside the UK, Kate Crossman, business tourism executive at Tourism Ireland, said: "As a European Union destination, we have become increasingly aware of the presence of the agency members of the HBAA. Meeting and events into Ireland has grown significantly due to the competitive tax situation that we have for meeting planners – the VAT element of accommodation expenses incurred when attending a business conference in Ireland can now be claimed back by taxable businesses."

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