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Jens Zimmer Christensen

President of HOTREC

Christian de Barrin




Tourism unites Europe. This is a people industry,

which brings people together. Hospitality is at the

heart of European tourism development. The industry

employs 80% of the total EU tourism workforce,

providing alone 11,9 million jobs thanks to its

2 million businesses, generating over 1,9 billion

nights spent in 200,000 hotels, and millions of meals

everyday in about 1 million restaurants and similar


The past 5 years paved the way to a stronger

hospitality industry, engaged into innovation and

transformation. Indeed, the sector alone created

1,6 million new jobs between 2013 and 2016.

One of HOTREC’ s key objective was the regulation

of the ‘collaborative’ economy to level the playing

field while ensuring consumer protection. Good

steps were taken in the right direction thanks to the

excellent cooperation between the EU Institutions

and EU stakeholders. The industry also succeeded

in raising policy makers’ appreciation on the need

to shape a Regulation on transparency and fairness

in platform to business relations still to be adopted

before the end of the current EU mandate. Another

HOTREC key priority was to keep VAT rates low for

hotels, restaurants and tourism services within

the reform of the VAT scheme, therefore further

increasing the competitiveness of Europe; proposal

still to be endorsed by the Council of the EU.

The industry also kept delivering its commitment to

sustainability on a voluntary basis, with actions to

reduce food waste and increase energy efficiency.

It will further take roots during the next EU mandate

through the further promotion of healthy and better

nutrition in the sector.

But even more needs to be done! While global

tourism grew at a pace of 7% in 2017 (8% in Europe),

new opportunities and challenges are rising such

as the need to develop sustainable tourism, and to

further innovate and adapt services to new customer

demands. This will require major quality investments

that shall be addressed through a multi-stakeholder

approach, partly funded by the EU (e.g. multiannual

financial framework), including research on big data

to better manage tourism flows, artificial intelligence

and blockchains.

Better regulation and a new thinking on subsidiarity

shall prevail and top the EU’s agenda for the next 5

years. The digital economy will also remain one of

HOTREC’s key priorities for a more balanced online

market as promoted in this White Paper. Last but not

least, the industry will focus on training the workforce

and respond to the shortage of skills to keep being

the 3


largest socio-economic activity in Europe.

Together with HOTREC Executive Committee and

43 Member Associations active in 31 European

countries, we would like to thank the Members of

the EU Institutions, and in particular of the European

Parliament for the excellent cooperation developed

over the past 5 years and we are looking forward to

working closely with the newly elected and re-elected

Members of the European Parliament and renewed

European Commission.


2019 EU elections


White Paper for Hospitality in Europe