Hotrec, the European Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafés in Europe, calls for Energy Ministers in the European Council to cut down the energy prices and save thousands of hospitality businesses from bankruptcy.
The hospitality sector is a strong contributor to the EU economy, representing 2 million companies (90% of them being micro-enterprises) and employing 12 million people. Despite this track record, the sector has been facing numerous challenges lately, namely high food prices, labour shortages, high inflation levels, while still being in recovery after Covid-19.
Our sector is heavily dependent on energy (e.g. heating and cooling) to provide guests with the service they expect. Energy prices need to be cut down, and companies need to be ensured access to energy to survive.Hotrec
Companies in the sector report an increase in energy consumption price of between 200% and 600%. Bankruptcies are a reality in some cases, companies are carefully analysing their business models to examine whether they can remain open or if they need to close.
Hotrec welcomes the Commission proposal for a Council Regulation proposed on 12 September 2022, as the situation is of extreme gravity, and calls on Member States to approve it. The association also calls on the Council to take into consideration that 2020 and 2021 should not be included in the reference period of the Regulation, at least in the case of the hospitality sector, as most companies in the sector were completely closed for long periods. The reference period should instead cover the average 3 highest consuming years from the last five years.
“We continue calling businesses to be energy efficient, save energy as much as possible and follow the transition to renewables. But it is to bear in mind that companies need affordable energy and food prices to operate”, Hotrec says.
Lastly, they call on the Member States who have not yet applied for the State Aid Temporary Crisis Framework to activate it.