1 / 4 Next Page
Show Menu
1 / 4 Next Page
Page Background

HOTREC Position paper on overtourism

Putting sustainable tourism on top of the

EU policy agenda for the benefits of society


With international tourist arrivals forecast to rise by 250

million over the next decade, the challenges facing Europe’s

destinations shall urgently be addressed, and consequently

the ones facing the tourism sector. However, we concur

with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which stated

in August 2017: “Tourism growth is not the enemy; it’s

how we manage it that counts”. Indeed, one of the most

pressing issues is to measure tourism flows, as well as the

exponential growth of short term rentals through online

platforms, which have so far taken place ‘off the radar’ of

destination authorities.

The global rise in the number of travellers to, and around

Europe for the purpose of tourism is, in principle, good news

for the European hospitality industry, and the tourism sector

as a whole. However, the main challenge is that demand

has not yet evenly spread. Instead, it is concentrated in a

few destinations, especially cities where citizens live and

work, and which therefore suffer from pressure on public

infrastructure and the environment as well as from the lack

of available rentals and the rise of housing costs. However,

the negative effects of this concentration cannot all be

attributed to tourism alone. What is often reduced to the

Chair of the “Sharing”

Economy Task Force

Ramón Estalella

Chief Executive Officer

Christian de Barrin

What is HOTREC?

HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. The

sector counts in total around 1.9 million businesses, being 99,5% small and medium

sized enterprises (90% are micro enterprises, i.e. employing less than 10 people).

These businesses make up some 60% of value added. The industry provides some 11.1

million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is

the 3rd largest industry in Europe. HOTREC brings together 43 national associations

representing the interest of this industry in 30 different European countries.

simple issue of ‘tourist overcrowding’ should also be linked

to complex challenges such as population growth and its

concentration in cities.

To sustain tourism and its many benefits to all stakeholders

alike, solutions are to be found in the diversification o

f t he

tourism offer t hroughout r egions and s easons, while g iving

back the cities to their residents and facilitating the creation

of even more jobs and growth.

As the umbrella Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes

in Europe, HOTREC is committed to the goals of sustainable

development, and to playing a leading role in contributing

to the prosperity of European destinations. The goal of this

position paper is to map the causes and consequences of

Overtourism in European destinations, taking the

example of case studies from


destinations and to

put forward recommendations on ensuring the sustainable

management of increasing tourism flows.