The hospitality industry has become an even stronger pillar of the European economy over the past few years.
Indeed, the hospitality industry alone created 1,6million jobs in Europe between 2013 and 2016 taking itsworkforce
from 10,3 million employees to 11,9 million, while the number of enterprises raised from 1,82 to almost 2 million.
Turnover also increased by 20% from 507 to 605 billion EUR over the same period. Improved European policy
framework thanks to the excellent cooperation with the EU Institutions, as well as increased tourism demand
drove the development of the sector, which is the 3
largest socio-economic activity in Europe.
COLLABORATIVE ECONOMY – Set up the European regulatory framework to allow for fair competition and to
ensure consumer protection
The EU made significant steps towards tackling the challenges the rapidly developing ‘collaborative’ economy
poses to the economy and society. The adoption of the related Commission Communication in 2016, the
Commission short-term rentals accommodation workshops in 2017 and the Commission action in July 2018
obliging AirBnB to comply with basic rules are showing the increasing intensity with which Europe is ready to
settle the drawbacks of the ‘collaborative’ economy. This was fully supported by the European Parliament report
“On a European Agenda for the collaborative economy” published in June 2017. HOTREC pro-actively contributed
to the matter since November 2015, first issuing a position paper and then defining five key pillars for a responsible
and sustainable ‘collaborative’ economy.
DIGITAL – Regulate platform to business relations to allow for fairness and transparency
The European Commission rightly identified the key challenges European (hospitality) businesses are facing
vis-à-vis online platforms, namely the lack of transparency and fairness, which was also well addressed by the
European Parliament report on online platforms published in June 2017. The platform-to-business Regulation
(adopted in the EP on 17 April 2019) is a step in the right direction and the newly created Platform Observatory
shall help monitoring work-in-progress and draw the necessary lines of the Regulation’s review which shall take
place in 2022. One topic to be reviewed shall be platforms’ restriction for businesses to offer different conditions
on their own distribution channels, which is today already prohibited in 5 European countries.
TAXATION – Reform the VAT scheme while continuing to allow for low rates for hospitality services
The European Commission proposed to amend the rules setting VAT rates in the European Union. It is essential
that Member States continue to be able to apply reduced VAT rates to hospitality businesses, which proved
to create jobs and growth as showed the HOTREC VAT report published in April 2017. This is also key for the
competitiveness of Europe as a tourist destination, which growth of international tourism receipts lag behind
growth rates of the world average. The European Commission and the European Parliament are both supporting
this approach which still needs to be adopted by the Council.
CONSUMER AFFAIRS – REFIT – Increasing transparency and fairness of online platforms for consumers
Whilebuyingproducts throughonlineplatformskeep increasing, HOTRECactivelycontributed to theEU institutions’
efforts to modernise EU consumer legislation, namely increasing transparency and fairness. As a result of the
excellent work of the European Commission and European Parliament at this stage, some widespread unfair
commercial practices will be banned, consumer information on the online ranking of products will be enhanced
and consumers will know if they are protected by EU consumer law when shopping online. The text still needs to
be adopted at the time we are publishing this document.
DATA PROTECTION – a framework reasonably adjusted to SMEs
Companies in the hospitality sector are not likely to process personal data that risk the rights and freedoms of
their customers. On the other hand, their core business is not data processing. For these reasons, companies
in the sector do not need, in principle, to develop impact assessments, prior consultations or to hire a data
protection officer. This avoids more administrative and economic burdens to SMEs in the hospitality sector (90%
of the businesses being micro-enterprises).
2014-2019 EU MANDATE:
A STRONGER HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
2019 EU elections
White Paper for Hospitality in Europe