The main changes include a conclusive definition of the financial liability between supplier, intermediary agent and corporate or association contract holder, as well as a service level commitment between those involved in the procurement and provision of accommodation, meetings, conferences and events and corporate.
The re-evaluation was overseen by Chris Parnham, past chair of the HBAA, along with senior representatives from Hilton Worldwide, Marriott Hotels & Resorts UK, Capita and independent booking agents.
The new code of practice overwrites the HBAA’s code of conduct and has culminated in a far-reaching template for business methodology for stakeholders involved in contracting and implementing accommodation and meeting contracts.
Revisions to the code of practice aim to give agents, accommodation and meeting providers a template for best practices while providing corporate clients with quality assurances of the suppliers they are working with.
Other changes include an assurance to work in a transparent and impartial manne and revised terminology to reflect the changing face of business travel and live events.
Chris Parnham, past chair of the HBAA and managing director of Absolute Corporate Events, said, "The Code of Practice is, in reality, due diligence for the accommodation and event booking sector. There has been limited governance in the wider £39bn business tourism sector and this Code of Practice, to which all of our members have committed, gives a strong signal of the HBAA’s commitment to best practice, integrity and using bona fide suppliers."
Leigh Cowlishaw, vice chair of the HBAA and director of supplier partnerships at Capita Travel and Event, added, "The new Code of Practice is hugely beneficial as it sets business parameters and agrees service levels between agents, suppliers and corporate. Significantly, from the corporate buyer’s perspective, it supports the HBAA membership, by asserting commitment and adherence to ethical and commercial practices in the procurement of accommodation, meetings and events."
The HBAA is the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community.
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