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September 14, 2009

Record attendance at HBAA event

The Hotel Booking Agent Association’s Annual Forum attracted a record number of 300 booking agents and hoteliers to the Barceló Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire.
Under the theme Time to Shine, this year’s opening session by STR Global highlighted the opportunities that the future holds for agents and venues. And as the Government officially announces the end of the recession, STR Global’s data forecast a promising increase in occupancy for the period of 2010 to 2012 for both the consumer and corporate market.
“The hotel market will definitely pick up over the next year and the decline in rates, occupancy and revPAR is already stabilising and will continue to do so,” said STR director of marketing Global’s Konstanze Auernheimer.
The afternoon session ‘RIP the RFP’ saw a dramatic change of opinion in favour of requests for proposals (RFPs), with 70% of the 300 delegates in agreement with the practice. The session wrapped up with the question of whether the HBAA has a role in driving towards a better end-to end solution. As a result of the debate, a working party is being commissioned to look into the question.
The day concluded with the announcement of the HBAA Awards, rewarding the excellence demonstrated by agencies and venues in various areas over the last year. The judging panel stressed how impressed they were with both the finalists and winners for the awards.
TV journalist and judge Lynn Faulds Wood said: “The entries were of an incredibly high standard – finalists were exemplary in demonstrating their innovation, and the winners have helped provide a benchmark for the HBAA.”
The winners of the HBAA Awards 2009 are:

Training & Development
The Old Course Hotel

Promoting Excellence within the Industry
Conference Care
Commitment within the Community
Hilton Hotels
Best Environmental Practise
Great Hallingbury Manor

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