Live From Brussels – Issue 112
Welcome to another issue of our ‘Live from Brussels’ newsletter.
In early October, HOTREC members reunited for our 85th General Assembly in Stockholm. Mr Alexandros Vassilikos, President of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels in Greece, was unanimously elected as the new President of HOTREC. He will lead a newly elected Executive Committee for a mandate of two years, commencing on 1st January 2023. We are grateful to these individuals for volunteering their time and energy to ensure that HOTREC and our industry are successful in delivering on their ambitions.
The Assembly was also a time to reflect on our current priorities for hospitality in Europe. We discussed the issues faced by our restaurants, hotels and bars : high food and energy prices, inflation, and labour shortages. We also exchanged best practices to tackle these challenges: sustainability practices, training programmes for young people and innovative solutions to recruit and retain staff.
These pressing issues are at the centre of our discussion with Petri Salminen, President of SMEunited, the recognized employers’ organisation of crafts and SMEs in Europe, whom I want to thank for a clear overview of their propositions to support SMEs.
As COP27 is still ongoing, it’s a time to reflect on how the hospitality industry can take part in fighting climate change. Building a more sustainable future for our staff and customers is at the core of our ambition as entrepreneurs. We strongly align with the EU Green Deal’s objective to prevent waste and uphold circularity within our operations. On this topic, the European Commission’s intent to reduce and prevent packaging waste in its upcoming directive review goes in the right direction. However, the Commission needs to set realistic targets allowing our small and micro enterprises some time to shift.
In other news, the long-expected STR initiative was released by the Commission on 7 November 2022. The initiative is an important step and opportunity to level the playing field amongst all accommodation providers, and establish a framework that will protect and benefit consumers, residents, local communities, and the entire EU tourism ecosystem.
We are looking forward to sharing all our key messages with the Members of the European Parliament on 29 November 2022 for European Hospitality Day. 30 delegates from our membership will be exchanging with MEPs on ‘the future of hospitality: Digital, Green and Resilient’ during a working lunch co-hosted by S&D MEP from Malta, Josianne Cutajar.
Stay tuned and enjoy your reading!