Juliet Price made her inaugural speech last week as the newly appointed chairman of the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA), at the body's annual meeting. She is the head of marketing and business intelligence for Hotelzon, one of the world's leading corporate and leisure online hotel booking companies and providers of software technology. She spoke to Janet Harmer about her new role.
What is the HBAA? Formed in 1997, the HBAA is made up of more than 85 agent members and 200 venue members. The agent members are specialists in making hotel accommodation, conference and event reservations, while the venue members comprise leading hotel chains, training centres and independent hotels and venues.
What is the key objective for 2011?
As chairman of the HBAA I'm only in the role for one year, but it is important that we have a slightly longer outlook than just 12 months. In April, we intend to role out a three-year strategy plan to enable us to have more focus and direction with regards to ensuring a return on investment, while remaining flexible to business needs.
How do you intended to formulate the HBAA's strategy plan?
The whole membership will be involved. During February I will be hostng a roadshow with HBAA executive director Peter Ducker and venue chair Ian Leat, from Marriott. We will visit Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, the Midlands and London. We will find out from members what the challenges are facing them and how we can support them in the next three years.
The HBAA is gearing up for an unprecedented period with the royal wedding this year and the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics in 2012. How well are you prepared? We have shown our members videos of the key personalities involved in the Olympics to help them know what to expect. But the venues in London, in particular, are already on top of what they are doing and are sharing their knowledge with agents and clients outside the capital.
What can members expect after 2012? The experience of past Olympics shows that the period after the event may be very challenging and we intend to do what we can to support the membership during this time.