Live from Brussels – Issue n°103

A message from Ms. Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC

Dear reader,

Living with Covid-19 has been as challenging as it gets for European hospitality: many establishments are either officially or de facto closed and others are still operating on the brink of disaster.

The pandemic will continue to affect our sector in the coming years, and reopening will require unprecedented coordination among EU institutions and Members States. However, we must keep in mind that reopening is not the same as recovery: the impact of the coronavirus on the industry has been seismic, and getting back to pre-Covid-19 levels will be neither instant nor easy.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that European hospitality will prevail.

The relatively rapid roll-out of vaccination programs and the recent provisional approval of the so-called ‘EU digital Covid Certificate’ already provide us with a light at the end of the tunnel. The latter, in particular, will be essential to help rebuilding customer and traveller confidence.

We at HOTREC also warmly welcomed the appointment of a Director in charge of Tourism at the European Commission: Ms. Valentina Superti, whom we thank for sharing her views on the future of tourism and hospitality in this newsletter. It is to note that the European Commission also recently launched the EU Industrial Strategy 2021, acknowledging the dramatic impact of the pandemic on tourism, prioritising its recovery.

Looking ahead, the sector will need adequate support from the EU until the end of the crisis and beyond. Hospitality businesses will look at their respective governments for a swift implementation of national Recovery Plans, increased stability and financial support.

Further regulating future EU rules on digital marketing will also be of the utmost importance. In this regard, earlier this month, we welcomed the verdict by the German Supreme Court, prohibiting from imposing ‘narrow’ price parity clauses on German hotels. A historic milestone for our member, Hotelverband Deutschland (IHA), and for German hoteliers, and setting an important precedent for other European markets.

I believe that our industry has all the potential and the resilience to lead the way into the digital and green transition: the challenges brought forth by the pandemic must become a turning point to an improved ‘next normal’. Let’s turn our greatest challenge yet into an opportunity!

We hope you will enjoy our newsletter.





Live from the network

Social Affairs




Interview with Ms. Valentina Superti, Director of tourism and proximity at DG GROW

Valentina Superti is Director at the European Commission DG GROW (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs), responsible for tourism, textiles, social economy and the digitalisation of industry. Her previous responsibilities include being Director for Single Market and Deputy Head of Cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, in charge of Industry, SMEs, Galileo and Copernicus.


HOTREC welcomes German court verdict prohibiting narrow price parity clauses

On 19 May, the German Supreme Court issued a landmark verdict prohibiting the ‘narrow’ best price clauses imposed by booking portal on hotels. The court determined that these clauses infringe antitrust law in Germany.


ISO and CEN publish COVID-19 prevention guidelines for tourism sector

On 19 May 2021, the European Standardisation Organisation (CEN) published a European standardisation deliverable for COVID-19 health and safety protocols in tourism establishments and services, developed at the Commission's initiative. It complements CEN’s endorsement of a safety protocol developed at the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), which was adopted on the previous day (18 May) and to which HOTREC extensively contributed.

Live from the network

HOTREC and TOPOSOPHY webinar explores ‘new normal’ tourism in urban areas

HOTREC partnered up with TOPOSOPHY on 29 April 2021 to host a seminar on the recovery of urban tourism.

Social Affairs

European Parliament presents its report on Minimum Wages

In April 2021, the co-rapporteurs Dennis Radtke (EPP/Germany) and Agnés Jongerius (S&D/Netherlands) presented their joint report on the proposal for a Directive on Minimum Wages.

Porto summit: EU leaders and social partners subscribe action plan on European Pillar of Social Rights

On 8 May 2021, European leaders adopted the declaration of the Porto Social Summit, which renews their commitment to putting into practice the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights and approves the Action Plan presented in March by the European Commission.


European Commission lunches Communication on Blue Economy

On 17 May 2021, the European Commission launched a new Communication for a sustainable blue economy in the EU  (COM(2021)240final).


European Digital Green Certificate: provisional agreement reached

On 20 May 2021, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement, on the European digital green certificate, which will be called the ‘EU digital Covid Certificate’.

Coreper approves draft conclusions on future of tourism in Europe to 2030

On Wednesday 12 May, the ambassadors of the Member States to the European Union (Coreper I) approved draft conclusions of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council for tourism in Europe. This text will be adopted on 27 May by the Competitiveness Council.

European Industrial Strategy launched!

On 5 May 2021, the European Commission launched the EU Industrial Strategy. The strategy includes Tourism as part of the EU ecosystem and recognises that this is sector mostly hit by the crisis.

Europe reopens steadily its doors to tourism from third countries

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting approved on 20 May 2021 the EU recommendation on non-essential travel to the EU, which aims to open the EU to more tourists from third countries, especially those who are vaccinated and come from a zone considered to be safe by the EU.

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