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The European Hotel classification: a unified standard for quality

Since 2004, HOTREC and its member associations have been working towards harmonising hotel classification systems across Europe. 

In 2009, the Hotelstars Union was established with the participation of 7 members who committed to applying nearly identical criteria for hotel classification. Over the years, this initiative has grown, and today 19 European countries are members of the star family: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

On 25 March 2021, almost 12 years after its foundation, HSU was transformed into an international non-profit organisation under Belgian law (AISBL) with its statutory seat in Brussels.


Ongoing improvements to meet guest expectations

The harmonized classification criteria undergo regular revision every five to six years, taking into account market observations and guest expectations. The latest revision, covering the period 2020-2025, aimed to enhance the existing criteria while safeguarding the investments made based on the classification. The key objectives of this revision were to simplify and reduce criteria, formulate requirements in an open and non-restrictive manner, strengthen core hotel services, integrate technological advancements and sustainability concepts, and adjust the points system.

Through this ongoing process of refinement, the European hotel classification system ensures a unified standard of quality, enabling travellers to make informed choices and enjoy consistent service across participating countries.

Check out the Hotelstars Union website to find out more!


HOTREC Podcast ‘Dare to Host’

Dare to Host Podcast: exploring trends and Innovations in the European Hospitality Industry

Welcome to Dare to Host, the engaging podcast by HOTREC that explores the dynamic landscape of the European hospitality industry. Join us as we bring together influential voices from the sector who share their perspectives on business news, trends, and insights. Get ready for an enriching listening experience with our exciting second season. Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes.



HOTREC is part of the MYRIAD-EU project studying how multi-hazard risks can negatively impact tourism destinations or activities.

Droughts can cause forest fires or food and water shortages. When it rains heavily on the dried soil, floods can occur, making shortages worse or triggering the outbreak of diseases. Risks don’t come in the singular. They are interconnected. They can trigger or amplify each other. In today’s world, nature, health, and the economy rely on each other. Being able to anticipate how risks interact is essential in preventing and mitigating disasters.



MYRIAD-EU’s mission is to catalyse a paradigm shift in how risks are currently assessed and managed. Instead of addressing risks and hazards one by one, leading scientists from across Europe will co-develop the first harmonised framework for multi-hazard, multi-sector, and systemic risk management. The interlinkages between the different hazards and economic sectors will be studied in 5 pilots.

Check out the MYRIAD-EU project website and find out more! 



About the DIVETOUR project

HOTREC is a partner in the DIVETOUR project launched in 2021 for three years. DIVETOUR is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme which aims to develop innovative training kits and digital instruments to raise awareness about accessibility and tourism for all.

 Students and VET professionals in the tourism sector are involved in this project.

DIVETOUR is a digital journey. The three deliverables of the project include an online platform, a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a game-based app, and a chatbot. With these tools, the participants of the project will greatly enrich their professional competencies interactively and collaboratively.

HOTREC believes that the project’s focus on developing innovative training tools and supporting the uptake of accessible tourism is valuable to address staff shortages in the sector and develop new opportunities for the recovery of tourism. HOTREC is contributing to the development of a training path for the project and is keen to involve hospitality and tourism sector professionals and representatives in upcoming training modules.

Check out the DIVETOUR project website and find out more!