Malta hosted the first international Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) Agency Engagement Retreat has recently taken place in Malta, according to a Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) press release sent to Business Malta.
The meeting was the first outside of the United Kingdom and it happened as a result of Conventions Malta’s professional relationship with the HBAA.
HBAA is the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community and has more than 300 member organisations including over 80 agency and 225 venue members who work collaboratively in the accommodation, meetings and events sector.
Therefore, directors and managers participated in order to share insights on issues that agencies are facing in the industry. A number of talks and panels were held during the event.
The HBAA also held a session for the local trade, where Angie Mason, Chair of the association and Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director, talked about meeting spends and trends and the agency market place in the United Kingdom. Peter Vella, Director for Malta Tourism Authority United Kingdom and Ireland introduced all the speakers.
The guests had the opportunity to visit numerous cultural spots and MICE venues of Malta.
In addition, private dinners were included in some of the locations, such as the Courtyard of Vilhena Palace in Mdina and a cultural tour of Valletta. The agents also participated in a Rolling Geek tour of the Three Cities followed by a typical meal from the 18th century served at the Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu, as the press release says.
“I thought our hosts were superb, they went out of their way in their own time to look after us and made sure we saw as much as possible that Malta has to offer for our clients. I will definitely return and hopefully we will have business to place there in the future,” said Sian Sayward from Inntel, Chair of the HBAA Membership Committee.
“Malta is a fabulous value for money Mediterranean destination and flight/airport plans will be a tremendous help to sell as a destination,” commented Jo Egan from, Hotel Desk.