Live from Brussels – Issue 106

Dear reader,

Welcome back to this new issue of ‘Live from Brussels’!

As the end of another challenging year is approaching, we are already planning for our upcoming projects and goals: once again, we expect that helping the sector exit the crisis and increase its resilience will be our number one priority in 2022. This summer season, the overall good industry performance, the progressive reopening of the Union’s borders and the ongoing approval of national Recovery Plans brought forth a wave of optimism. However, many businesses – from large chains to micro-enterprises – are still struggling to survive due to staff and supply shortages, short term debt, and the lack of international tourists, among other things.

The truth is that two promising months cannot make up for the damage caused by almost two years of closures and uncertainty. The pace with which the sector will bounce back will depend on its capacity to adapt to the ongoing transitions and enter a new era of resilience, innovation and sustainability. We had the pleasure to brainstorm on this topic and more in the first episode of our brand new podcast, ‘Dare to Host’.

Right now, it’s clear that, in the short term, extending the existing EU and national funding for as long as necessary will be essential to ensure a full recovery. To this end – and considering the current worsening of the epidemiological situation in Europe – we keep urging the European Commission to further extend the State aid Temporary Framework until at least mid-2022. Earlier this morning, I stressed this issue over this morning’s European Tourism Forum.

Achieving a more sustainable tourism and hospitality ecosystem by 2030 will also be of the utmost importance for businesses across Europe to remain competitive and return to pre-pandemic levels. In this sense, the past few weeks have been fruitful, with the COP26 on 1-13 November serving as a springboard for the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, which we fully support.

The path towards digitalisation will also represent a major challenge and an opportunity for the industry: taking the next steps towards a more digital ecosystem will require many resources and a long time commitment. For such an investment to be profitable – especially in the case of SMEs and micro-enterprises – the industry will need to achieve a fairer relationship between hospitality businesses and online intermediaries and a workforce with the right set of skills. In this regard, we are keeping a close eye on the latest developments on the Digital Markets and Services Acts. In this issue of our newsletter, we also had a chance to discuss this and more with MEP Josianne Cutajar (Malta, S&D).

In other news, the next few weeks will be exciting for HOTREC, with our General Assembly taking place on 2-3 December. Our members and some great speakers will join us in beautiful Lyon for two days of fruitful discussions and best practice sharing. We can’t wait to meet you all!

We hope you will enjoy our newsletter.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Interview

Digital

Live from the network

Social Affairs

Statistics

Sustainability

Tourism


Interview



Interview with MEP Josianne Cutajar

Josianne Cutajar is the youngest Member to ever represent the Maltese Islands in the European Parliament. As a member of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy, as well as the Committee for Transport and Tourism and that for Regional Development, she strongly advocates for tourism to be adequately recognized at the European level. Through her work on DSA first, and DMA after, she has called for efficient regulation on digital platforms to ensure fair markets and end abusive practices that can hurt SMEs within the tourism sector. MEP Cutajar is also an active member of the European Parliament’s Tourism Task Force, wherein she has been advocating for greater coordination at the EU level as well as the importance of addressing issues faced by the travel and tourism sector during this pandemic and strengthening connectivity.

Digital



European Commission survey on ‘good practice in online consumer reviews and ratings’

Over the course of October 2021, the European Commission opened a survey to gather stakeholders’ feedback on the ‘Principles and Recommendations for Good Practice in online consumer reviews and ratings’. Draft principles have been produced based on the work of the multi-stakeholder platform on the quality of tourism accommodation in the framework of a study commissioned by the European Commission.


EU legislators move ahead on Digital Markets and Services Acts

The Council of the EU is closing in on the adoption of its general approaches for the Digital Services and Digital Markets Act. Member States are expected to adopt the Council’s positions on these two pieces of legislation to engage in negotiations with the European Parliament during the Competitiveness Council of 25 November.

Live from the network



Towards healthier and safer workplaces in hospitality establishments: a webinar on the OiRA tool

On 9 November 2021, HOTREC, EFFAT and OSHA-EU organised a webinar on the Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) tool.


Beyond the recovery: HOTREC discusses the future of hospitality at the 20th European Tourism Forum

HOTREC Director General, Ms Marie Audren, participated today in the 20th edition of the European Tourism Forum. Ms Audren joined the first session on 'EU tourism industry and destinations in driving the transition’.

Social Affairs



European Parliament votes on Minimum Wages

On 11 November 2021 at the EMPL committee of the European Parliament voted on a compromise text of the proposal for a Directive on Adequate Minimum Wages in the European Union. The text was approved by 37 votes in favour, 10 votes against and 7 abstentions.

Statistics



Partial recovery for hospitality over summer 2021 to be short-lived due to ‘fourth wave’ of Covid-19 cases

Turnover figures for the European hospitality sector over the course of summer 2021 hinted at a return to ‘business-as-usual' for the sector, with turnover figures largely exceeding those recorded in summer 2020 and at almost comparable levels, albeit lower, with those recorded during summer 2019.

Sustainability



Climate change action: COP26 outcomes and conclusions

The COP26 took place on 1-13 November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland, to tackle impacts associated with the climate. We collected the main outcomes and conclusions of the negotiations with an impact on the European tourism and hospitality ecosystem.


The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism: shared pathways towards a carbon-neutral tourism

On November 4, the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism was launched as a side-event at the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference. The Declaration aims to raise the climate ambition of tourism stakeholders and secure strong actions to support the global commitment to halve emissions by 2030 and reach Net Zero as soon as possible before 2050.


New Commission toolbox of measures will tackle soaring energy prices in Europe

On 13 October 2021, the European Commission adopted a  Communication on Energy Prices, to tackle the exceptional rise in global energy prices, which is projected to last through the winter, and help Europe's people and businesses.


The EU achieves 20-20-20 climate targets, making 55% emissions cut by 2030 attainable

A new European Environment Agency (EEA) assessment announces that the European Union achieved its three central climate and energy targets by 2020. These 2020 climate and energy targets encompassed reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, increasing the share of renewable energy use to 20%, and improving energy efficiency by 20%.

Tourism



Latest updates of the EU Covid safe travel list

Following a review under the recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU, the Council updated the list of countries, special administrative regions, and other entities and territorial authorities for which travel restrictions should be lifted.


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