Ahead of the Spanish Presidency of the EU that will begin on 1 July 2023, representatives of the European hospitality sector are meeting in Tenerife to kick-off two days of discussions that will focus on post-Covid challenges and the support to companies.
Businesses in the sector have reopened, but are still facing worrying issues, the members of Hotrec, the umbrella association of European Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafés, pointed out, which they believe should be put at the top of the EU agenda. Delegates voiced their concerns over increased inflation, interest rates and energy and food prices, but also on crippling staff shortages, increased regulatory burdens, and the many challenges posed by the digital and green transitions.
We trust in the Spanish government’s vision to prioritise our sector during its term of office.Rosana Morillo, Spanish State Secretary for Tourism
“We trust in the Spanish government’s vision to prioritise our sector during its term of office. We are also pleased to note that, next Autumn, the Presidency will organise the European Tourism Forum”, said Rosana Morillo, Spanish State Secretary for Tourism.
The attendees highlighted their continuous commitment to digital and sustainability goals, but pointed to recent Eurostat statistics warning of increased bankruptcies in their industry compared to the pre-pandemic period. Over 97.7% more establishments permanently closed their doors in Q4 2022 than in Q4 2019, thousands of hotels, restaurants, and bars. This is especially true for the more vulnerable SMEs, which, without concrete and impactful support, will struggle to succeed in the transition to a more digital and greener business model, Hotrec highlighted.
The association thus invites the Spanish Presidency to progress on key legislative files, among others, the EU proposal for a Regulation to enhance transparency in short-term rentals accommodations and VAT in the digital age package, where Hotrec has been calling for a level playing field amongst all accommodation providers.
“The road ahead is challenging, yet exciting. European hospitality is facing important challenges, but we at Hotrec are well-placed to deliver an ambitious agenda to support our members and our industry”, said Hotrect President Alexandros Vassilikos.