Live from Brussels – Issue 118

Dear readers, 

Greetings from the latest edition of our Live from Brussels newsletter.

As we write, HOTREC has just concluded its 87th General Assembly in Brussels. We couldn’t be happier to have met with our members from all over Europe and to have welcomed esteemed EU officials and industry experts. Together, we engaged in collaborative discussions, exploring crucial issues for our sector – including employability and the implementation of sustainable practices – and reflected on the importance of ongoing collaboration with the EU Institutions.

Amid discussions on pressing issues for the industry, one topic has emerged as a top concern for HOTREC members: how will the upcoming European elections (June 2024) affect hospitality, and how can we best communicate our priorities to the new leadership?

HOTREC is gearing up to address this key issue on European Hospitality Day (29 November) at the event that we will organize in Brussels. There, we will unveil our Elections Manifesto, outlining a roadmap to address critical issues in the years ahead for the 2024-2029 EU mandate.

A sneak peek into the policy areas prioritised in HOTREC’s Manifesto reveals, among other points, a substantial emphasis on investing in sustainability and smart growth, aligning with the hospitality industry’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In this regard, we are closely monitoring the crucial plenary vote on the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) set to take place next week. We urge legislators to take into consideration the impact of the regulation on the specific situation of our sector.

Promoting a fair digital landscape will also continue to be a focal point of HOTREC’s action in the new EU mandate. We are actively involved in the implementation phase of the Digital Markets Act and continue to monitor all developments in the EU Short-Term Rentals (STRs) and VAT in the digital age proposals. Things are also developing at the national level, with the Italian prosecutor heavily fining Airbnb due to alleged tax evasion.

The adoption of cutting-edge technologies in the European hotel industry was also the focus of this issue’s interview with Professor Roland Schegg, whom I sincerely thank for his valuable insights into the world of Artificial Intelligence and his continued collaboration.

Stay tuned and enjoy your reading.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Digital



Discussing Artificial Intelligence in the European Hotel Industry with Mr Roland Schegg

We had the pleasure of interviewing Mr Roland Schegg, Professor at the Institute of Tourism at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland Valais. In the interview, Professor Schegg explains the outcome of his study on the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in the European Hotel sector.

Food



HOTREC launches digital campaign on Food Waste Reduction

HOTREC is stepping up its action against food waste with a new digital campaign aimed at raising awareness among European and national policymakers. 

Internal Market



EU payments proposals for the next decades

Every day, hotels, bars and restaurants process millions of types of different payments for their services from customers. For this reason, HOTREC is with great interest following the ambitious payment package that was presented by the European Commission at the end of June 2023.

Live from the network



European Tourism Forum: how can we reach a more sustainable tourism ecosystem?

On 30 October 2023, took place the European Tourism Forum – event organised by the Spanish Presidency in cooperation with the European Commission. The topic of discussion was 'The competitive and sustainable dimension of tourism in Europe'.

Short-term rentals (STR)



€779.5 million seized from Airbnb over tax evasion

airbnb
Due to alleged tax evasion, the Italian prosecutor has ordered to seizure of over €779 million from Airbnb. The company is accused of failing to collect 21% flat tax from landlords during 2017 and 2021.

Sustainability



Crucial vote ahead: the state of play on the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation

In a significant development, the European Parliament's ENVI Committee recently approved a series of compromise amendments to the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).


Green Claims: European Parliament brings clarity, but more action is needed

In October 2023, MEP Engerer (S&D/Malta) and MEP Ansip (Renew/Estonia) jointly published their draft report on the Green Claims proposal. HOTREC believes that the report adds clarity to the proposal, particularly by specifying that verification requirements do not apply to traders displaying an environmentally verified label. 

Tourism



Palma declaration: Tourism Ministers aim at a new sustainable business model for European tourism

On October 31, EU tourism ministers convened for an informal meeting in Mallorca, where they committed to endorsing the social sustainability of tourism in the EU by formally signing the 'Palma Declaration.'


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