Usher, who was appointed chairman in December, was speaking to more than 400 guests at the HBAA's 11th Annual Dinner, held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.
He said: "As we start the new decade it is time for the HBAA to move forward and I am sure that, although it is not going to be an easy year, there are signs of growth and business will slowly return."
HBAA partners and members would be given an opportunity to help shape the long-term direction of the association, he added.
The event also saw Richard Rees of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts receive the Tim Gasson Award for outstanding promotion of the HBAA.
He said: "I knew of Tim and his outstanding contribution to the industry, not least the HBAA. Being recognised by my colleagues in the HBAA for this prestigious award is something I will endeavour to live up to."
The event helped raise more than £18,200 for Lynn's Bowel Cancer Campaign, bringing the HBAA's total contribution to the charity to £150,000 since 2003.
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