Live from Brussels – Issue n°101
A message from Ms. Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC
I want to start by wishing you all a Happy New Year. While there is no way of foreseeing what the future holds for the European hospitality sector, I am confident that we are in a year of hope and recovery.
The recent surge in COVID-19 cases across Europe means that many of our establishments remain closed. These companies are struggling for survival. Facing today’s challenges, they need a perspective for an exit strategy very soon and extended significant support to last beyond the coming months.
The closure of our establishments has led to a dramatic knock-on effect on suppliers. These businesses are intrinsic to the functioning of the hospitality sector. Together with a large number of European associations, social partners, we are calling for a hospitality task force across the EU Institutions to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on business and jobs and deliver a road map for the recovery of the hospitality sector and its value chain.
We welcome that Portugal, taking over the Council Presidency on 1 January, views tourism’s recovery as a priority and aims at paving the way to a more digital, greener and fairer Europe. This is an opportunity to put clearly tourism and hospitality at the heart of the recovery, in particular as Member States present their Recovery and Resilience Plans. We are part of the solution, not the problem. A vibrant Tourism ecosystem will help to rebuild the economy.
EU heads of state and government recently vowed to work together towards common travel restrictions, testing, and vaccinations. We welcome their decision, but looking ahead it is safe to say that what businesses need now are more certainty and further coordination.
On the legislative front, among many initiatives, the EU presented its Digital Services and Markets Act (DSA and DMA), which will allow our industry to level the playing field and its businesses to increase their control over their digital presence. We were glad to discuss this topic in an interview with MEP Saliba, whom we thank for his informative words and contribution to this newsletter.
We hope you will enjoy our newsletter.