Live from Brussels – Issue 108
Welcome to the new issue of our ‘Live from Brussels’ newsletter. Last Friday marked a grim anniversary for hospitality worldwide: two years since the WHO declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. At this meaningful threshold, we can’t help but ask ourselves where our sector is standing now.
The impact of the pandemic is far from over and will continue impacting our industry for years to come: one only has to think of the still below-average levels of business travel and international tourists to realise that. However, we are on the right path toward much-needed stability, with governments across Europe progressively lifting pandemic and travel restrictions and tourism and customers’ confidence rising.
I wish I could leave it on this positive note. However, the truth is that another crisis today is overshadowing the (still noteworthy) effects of the pandemic.
HOTREC is looking with extreme sadness at the dramatic situation unravelling in Ukraine. We stand by the people of Ukraine and our member, the Ukrainian Hotel and Resort Association (UHRA), who is now facing unimaginable hardship. We are proud of having UHRA among our members and working together to help our industry thrive. We also want to praise the solidarity of our members and the hospitality sector across Europe, who have been mobilising since day one to provide immediate assistance and shelter to Ukrainian refugees.
Unfortunately, this war is bound to impact our industry at a time of great fragility. Not only do we expect it to influence travellers’ confidence in the short and medium-term, but hospitality venues are already suffering the effects of a severe increase in energy, food and commodities prices. Ahead of tomorrow’s informal ministerial conference of tourism ministers, we call for continued support to our sector from the EU and governments: venues across Europe will need even more help to face this new challenge while dealing with the consequences of Covid-19.
In other news, we have a few updates for you in this new issue of our newsletter.
Last month, we welcomed the launch of the EU Pact for Skills and joined forces with employers to call for a compromise approach on the EU pay transparency. The Digital Markets and Services Act will continue to be at the top of our agenda in the months to come, as the French Presidency of the EU aims to seal temporary agreements. We had a chance to discuss the DSA and Short-Term Rentals with Mr Mark Boekwijt, EU representative of Amsterdam, whom I want to thank for his precious insight.
I hope you will enjoy our newsletter.