Happy New Year!
As we step into 2024, we find ourselves reflecting on the journey that was 2023 for European tourism and hospitality. While the sector’s SMEs have been significantly impacted by increased inflation, staffing challenges, and rising costs, the notable surge in overnight stays across EU tourist accommodation establishments last year speaks volumes about the resilience and recovery of our industry.
But what awaits the sector in the coming year?
2024 is already set to be eventful, especially thanks to the upcoming European elections. As the elections draw near, they leave the recently installed Belgian Presidency with the responsibility of wrapping up many crucial legislative files before the new EU leadership gets chosen. This includes the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), Food Waste reduction targets, the Platform Work Directive, and the Package Travel Directive (PTD).
We had the opportunity to discuss the priorities of the Belgian Presidency with Tourism Minister Valérie de Bue, whom we thank for her insights and for organizing an informal meeting of EU tourism ministers on 19-20 February: a series of meetings that we hope will be soon formalized, to guarantee official EU-level discussions around our sector. In this line, HOTREC also calls upon the Belgian Presidency and EU Institutions to establish a dedicated budget line for tourism.
In view of the elections, HOTREC has published its Manifesto for the Future of European Hospitality, serving as our guiding compass for discussions with EU officials, governments, and stakeholders during the 2024-2029 legislative term. Last November, we initiated fruitful discussions on this Manifesto during the European Hospitality Day, and we eagerly anticipate continuing these conversations with you.
Stay tuned and enjoy your reading.