The European hospitality industry applauds the EU Institutions for their joint efforts to adopt the EU Regulation on Platform-to-Business relations in due time
Brussels, 14 February 2019. HOTREC welcomes the agreement between the European Institutions on the future European Regulation on platform-to-business relations, which is a significant step in the right direction towards increased transparency and fairer terms and conditions for the 200,000 hotels across Europe in their business relationships with internet giants.
In the online intermediated hotel booking market 1 platform controls 2/3 of the market, and over 90% with two other players. This dominance, which brought unfair commercial practices, is for the most part now on its way to get rectified by the current Regulation:
- Increased transparency on ranking and search results shall allow for better founded business decisions, while the explicit requirement for fair internal complaint mechanisms shall ensure that businesses’ concerns and complaints are treated finally accurately in a reasonable time.
- Platforms shall indicate through which additional channels they offer the businesses’ goods and services (i.e. more transparency on platforms’ affiliates).
- Terms and conditions applied by online platforms towards businesses shall be clearer and adjustments to it better anticipated.
- Any sanctions of online platforms against businesses will need to be well founded and easy to understand by the business concerned.
“The European hospitality industry considers today’s agreement as a turning point in platform-to-business relations, which we have fought for more than ten years. It will significantly improve the relationships between platforms and hoteliers, being until now unfair and unbalanced. We hope that this Regulation will also mark a step towards increased and fair competition in online distribution”, said Markus Luthe, Chair of HOTREC’s Distribution Task Force.
“HOTREC applauds the EU Institutions’ efforts to fight against unfair commercial practices through this Regulation – to be continued with the modernisation of the consumer law. The European hospitality industry relies on the Online Platform Observatory, to monitor its implementation and further developments in view of the future revision of the regulation”, concluded Mr. Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.
What is HOTREC?
HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant, bar and café industry at European level, bringing together 42 national associations in 30 countries. The sector counts 2 million businesses, being 90% micro enterprises. These businesses make up some 60% of value added. The industry provides alone 11.9 million jobs and created 1,6 million new jobs between 2013 and 2016. Together with tourism, it is the 3rd largest socio-economic activity in Europe.