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Lack of transparency, bookers claim
Hotels are compiling their price lists for meetings in a way that increases costs for hotel bookers.
The claim came from the Hotel Booking Agents' Association (HBAA) which said hotels were adding non-VAT items to day delegate rates (DDRs).
The Association, which represents more than 75 agencies, said: "Whilst this pricing technique allows hotels to maximise their yield management, longer term it makes rates more expensive for the end user."
Rebecca Forbes, operations director for Right Location Corporate Services, said: "Venues should offer a transparent pricing structure, which should clearly show any elements of day rates or 24 hour conference package rates which are VAT exempt.
"It is becoming increasingly common for venues to maximise their revenue by quoting a VAT inclusive rates and then allocating up to 33% of a package price to room hire which is VAT exempt.
"This can produce some nasty surprises for a corporate client who is expecting to reclaim the VAT and assumes all rates quoted to be fully VATable."
Steve Ockerby, HBAA's chairman, added: "As an association of booking agents we, and our corporate clients, find unacceptable the way that some UK hotels process their charges.
"One of our main objectives is to promote best practice and professionalism in the industry and we see hotels and venues following this pricing technique as detrimental in the battle for transparency in our industry."