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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

rd

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 upcoming adoption of the platform-

to-business Regulation 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

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2019 EU elections

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White Paper for Hospitality in Europe