A continuous partnership between the hospitality sector and the EU institutions is necessary to sustain and
even boost the industry’s contributions to growth and jobs in Europe. The hospitality sector alone created 1,6
million jobs between 2013 and 2016, therefore taking its workforce from 10,3 million employees in 2013 to
11,9 in 2016. HOTREC proposes 5 priorities which should constitute the basis of this continuous partnership to
make innovation the cornerstone of sustainable tourism and of the EU action for the next 5 years.
The industry’s top priority is the implementation of the policy framework initiated by the European Commission
in 2018 to tackle the drawbacks of the ‘collaborative’ economy and to ensure transparency and fairness in
the contractual relations platforms have with hotel and restaurant businesses. This is key to make the EU‘s
single market fit for hospitality small and microenterprises, which reached 2 million businesses in 2016. This
is also a pre-requisite to foster investment and anchor innovation, while ensuring fair market conditions and
a better management of tourism flows, thus contributing to sustainable tourism. In order to further meet
sustainable tourism, EU action should also address the skilling of the hospitality and tourismworkforce through
a multistakeholder approach, based on various funding possibilities. Moreover, the EU Institutions should
support the sector in its efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and nutrition through voluntary initiatives, instead
of using the top down approach through regulation.
A truly innovative better regulation agenda acknowledging the fact that subsidiarity must prevail in certain
circumstances is also needed. EU action is essential to tackle large cross-border issues and preserve the single
market. However, common public policy challenges with limited cross-border aspects are not necessarily best
tackled through pan-European legislation.
HOTREC calls on the newly elected European Parliament and European Commission to implement this public
policy agenda to ensure that innovation tops the EU agenda so that to make sustainable tourism the flagship
of European tourism development for the benefits of citizens.
Last but not least, and beyond the 5 priorities below, HOTREC calls on the EU to invest in big data to help
manage tourism flows and to develop research on artificial intelligence and blockchains.
With this goal in mind, as for the 2014-2019 EU mandate, the EU Institutions will find a strong support from the
European hospitality industry by further creating jobs and growth.
1- COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY – implement the actions taken by the European Commission in 2018 to
allow for a responsible and sustainable tourism and go further
Work at both European and national level has to continue to ensure the level playing
field of the ever increasingly professionalised ‘collaborative’ economy. As many
‘collaborative’ economy suppliers are becoming similar to micro-enterprises, policy
makers have to ensure that regular / professional activities are subject to similar
rules and obligations as the regulated, often micro-sized, businesses providing similar
services. What is relevant for the accommodation sector is also relevant for food
services (i.e ‘meal sharing’ / home restaurants) - a rising issue in Europe. Several
studies show that e.g. in the field of tourist accommodation the share of ‘peers’ offering several properties
for short term rental are getting substantial. Imbalanced and insufficiently regulated markets are distorting
competition in the conditions of the offer and hold back also financial resources for necessary innovation in
the regulated sector. Last but not least, unregulated ‘collaborative’ economy also contributes to ‘overtourism’.
Determined policy action launched by the European Commission in the previous EU mandate needs to be
continued to ensure balanced and fair European markets, safeguarding local and citizens’ interests and better
manage tourism flows.
2019-2024 EU MANDATE: 5 PRIORITIES
FOR EU POLICY AND DECISION-MAKERS
2019 EU elections
White Paper for Hospitality in Europe