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HBAA introduces Code of Practice

Association launches governance for parties involved in meeting and accommodation procurement 

The HBAA has concluded an extensive review of the commercial and ethical protocols between its members, resulting in a new Code of Practice for the association.  
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 Code of Practice overwrites the HBAA’s respected 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 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. Modifications include:  
• a conclusive definition of the financial liability between supplier, intermediary agent and corporate or association contract holder
• service level commitment between those involved in the procurement and provision of accommodation, meetings, conferences and events and corporate
• assurance to work in a transparent and impartial manner 
• revised terminology to reflect the changing face of business travel and live events     

Members of the HBAA are responsible for upwards of £3bn spend on accommodation, meeting and events each year and affiliation to the association is increasingly seen as a benchmark of integrity by corporate travel and events buyers.   

The HBAA is instigating a long-term marketing campaign with corporate decision makers, with the objective that policy makers and ratifiers use agents and suppliers who acknowledge and adhere to its Code of Practice.   

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.”

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