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May 28, 2008

HBAA kicks off international meetings agenda

The Hotel Booking Agents Association, HBAA, is holding its first international meeting on the Republic of Ireland on 29-30 May.

As the association asserts its presence within European venues and hotels, demand from international members has increased year on year by 26%. Recent members include Grand Hotel Huster Duin, Noordwijk, Amsterdam.
The meeting in Dublin will bring together some of Ireland's pre-eminent operators (the prestigious Carton House, Guinness Storehouse, etc.) along with hotel booking agents whose global reach has helped drive demand for membership by European hoteliers and venues.

Sue Burgess, chairman of the HBAA, said: "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. 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."

Kate Crossman, business tourism executive from Tourism Ireland, said: "As an EU 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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