The Advantage Travel Partnership is forging a collaboration with HBAA, the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community.

HBAA has around 225 venue and more than 100 agency members.

Advantage travel management companies will be able to utilise HBAA’s code of practice for meetings and events.

HBAA agency members will gain access to the Advantage global accommodation programme featuring preferential rates.

The tow organisations will work together with other bodies to combine forces on key activities including thought leadership and initiatives to further drive awareness of the sector and influence decision-makers.

Advantage chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “The Advantage Travel Partnership and HBAA share many common goals, including working to collaborate on elevating best practice for those offering services and product in this area. Our aspirations are to be working jointly on campaigns and further strengthen our united voice.

“Every year Advantage, through its global travel network WIN, enrols hotels and other accommodation providers for its global accommodation programme; last year more than 35,000 properties enlisted and as well as stating the number of hotel rooms, meetings and events’ facilities are also detailed.

“The programme is an invaluable resource for HBAA members and additionally, due to the Advantage and WIN members’ buying power, we are able to secure extremely advantageous rates and we are delighted to invite HBAA members to utilise these.

“This provision will be in place for HBAA agencies to book from 1 October 2020.

“As we are imminently launching the RFP [request for proposal] for the 2021 programme, it is great timing to open up the ability for more users to capitalise on the content and to offer this to their customers. The 2021 programme has a keen focus on flexibility, duty of care, as well as wellbeing of the end guest.”

HBAA consultant executive director Juliet Price added: “Whilst navigating the disruption to businesses caused by Covid-19, it is critical that both organisations continue to provide new tools, new ways of working and in some cases new platforms for diversification.

“Currently some of our members do not book accommodation for their customers and some Advantage members do not book meetings and events; this partnership will enable new service provisions and maximise business to our partners.

“As we continue to seek out and drive new opportunities for HBAA members and extend the professional standards within the code of practice to Advantage members, this is a great time to focus on delivering value to both organisations.”

Nick Scott, managing director of ArrangeMY – a member of both Advantage and HBAA – said: “I am delighted that both organisations have come together to collaborate for the benefits of their members. The joint relationship is truly a win win on each side with clear and visible benefits for all.”