Live from Brussels – Issue 116

Dear readers, 

The summer season is finally here, and European hospitality is bracing to welcome guests from all over the world. According to recent data from the ETC, European travel kept regaining momentum during the second part of 2023. While rejoicing in the prospect of the economic opportunities Summer will bring, we must remember how this intense period will also enhance existing challenges – for instance, staff shortages, economic hardship and managing tourist flows.

To help the sector face these challenges, HOTREC will continue its constant dialogues and exchanges with the EU Institutions. We look forward to collaborating with the newly established Spanish Presidency of the EU Council to prioritise and support European tourism and hospitality, to strengthen its competitiveness and sustainable transition. You can read here our interview with the Spanish State Secretary for Tourism, Rosana Morillo, whom we thank for her precious contribution to this newsletter.

When mentioning our ongoing dialogue with the Institutions, we are also happy to share that, on 22 June, we had the pleasure to participate in the launch meeting of the Together for EU Tourism (T4T) Expert Group, set to prepare policy initiatives resulting from the Tourism Transition Pathway.

In other news, this is a busy period for HOTREC. Last week, Booking.com declared that the company does not yet meet the criteria to qualify as a gatekeeper according to the Digital Markets Act. This is bad news for hotels in Europe, considering the law’s essential role in helping hotels address the unfair behaviour of online travel agents. More on this here.

Before the summer recess, we expect the European Parliament’s TRAN (Tourism and Transport) and ITER (Industry, Research and Energy) Committees to vote respectively on Short-Term Rentals and the EU Proposal for Packaging and Packaging Waste, two important files for hospitality businesses. We are also pleased to share with you our position on the Green Claims proposal ahead of the discussions in Parliament and Council.

Wishing you all a fantastic summer!

Stay tuned and enjoy your reading.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Interview

Digital

Food

Live from the network

Short-term rentals (STR)

Social Affairs

Sustainability


Interview



Discussing the priorities of the Spanish Presidency of the EU with State Secretary Rosana Morillo

We had the pleasure of interviewing Rosana Morillo, Spanish State Secretary for Tourism, and asking her how the new Presidency of the EU can prioritise European hospitality in the European agenda.

Digital



Promoting fairness for hotel businesses: Platforms send notifications on Digital Markets Act gatekeeper status

As Booking.com declared on 4 July 2023 that the company does not yet qualify as a gatekeeper under the Digital Markets Act, HOTREC takes note of the statement and urges the Commission to further scrutinize its criteria.

Food



Dark kitchens: a euphemism?

HOTREC explored the phenomenon of 'dark kitchens', also known as ghost kitchens or virtual kitchens. How is this rising trend impacting the food industry?


Waste no more! EU sets new Food Waste targets

The first EU-wide monitoring of EU food waste published in October 2022, showed that food services, including hospitality, were responsible for 9% of the total EU food waste in 2020, while consumers in households accounted for 53%.

Live from the network



Advancing Glass Recycling in hospitality: HOTREC joins Close the Glass Loop's Annual Event

HOTREC participated in the annual event of Close the Glass Loop, the European platform dedicated to the collection and recycling of glass packaging, held on June 29, 2023, in Brussels.


Harnessing Digital Power: HOTREC at #RestwithEU Hackathon, boosting innovation in the restaurant industry

Mid-June, HOTREC had the privilege of participating in the #RestwithEUHackathon as a member of the jury, evaluating solutions developed by 13 teams that addressed these challenges.

Short-term rentals (STR)



Streamlining VAT for Short-Term Rentals: Ministers discuss platform roles as HOTREC calls for swift action

On June 16, 2023, EU ministers of finance engaged in a discussion regarding VAT in the Digital Age package. As part of the package, the European Commission proposed implementing a deemed supplier model for Short-Term Rental (STR) platforms, which would require them to collect and remit VAT to tax authorities.

Social Affairs



Preserving freedom in Platform Work: HOTREC raises concerns over new Directive's impact

HOTREC expressed concerns over the potential impact of the new Directive on Improving Working Conditions in Platform Work on the freedom of individuals working on these platforms.

Sustainability



EU Green Claims Directive: finding a balanced approach for European Hospitality

In our recent position paper, HOTREC expressed support for a comprehensive EU framework that protects consumers and businesses from greenwashing, ensures legal certainty, and fosters fair competition within the Single Market.


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