Key issues in 2018 as seen by HOTREC President Susanne Kraus Winkler
Susanne Kraus Winkler, President, HOTREC, is participating in this year’s EHMA event in Marbella. We asked the key issues are for HOTREC this year with regard to EU strategy.
Right now, there are quite a lot of different topics on the EU table, with which HOTREC is dealing. It starts with the ongoing shadow economy issue, then the revision of the waste framework directive, a future policy initiative to tackle the issue of trans-fats in food, the fitness check of the EU General Food Law (GFL) Regulation, a new proposal of the Directive: “Transparent and predictable working conditions in the EU” replacing the current Written Statement Directive, the general Data Protection regulation coming into force in May 2018, adopted conclusions on crossborder aspects in alcohol policy, the revision of the Directive on the energy performance of building, the Communication which sets-out the EU’s strategy on plastics, the free tap water discussion in restaurants, and the proposal for reform of VAT rates , only to mention a few.
But HOTREC is also dealing with the changes in our hospitality world. We have to understand that old role models of managing our hotels and restaurants as well as our teams and how we understand the needs of our guests might differ a lot from what we were used to. Most of the challenges we face, like sharing economy, digitalisation of distribution and communication as well as digitalisation of operational processes, over tourism in some destinations, a dramatic lack of skilled labour, transparency and political changes, which cause problems in surrounding regions or safety and security challenges in some areas, need solutions, which cannot be dealt only by the hospitality industry itself and not at all by the SMEs themselves. We need common solutions and even more intensive cooperation to manage the future of our industry, there won’t be quick or easy solutions.
HOTREC DIGITAL TASK FORCE UNDER THE CHAIR OF MARKUS LUTHE FROM IHA IS STILL INTENSIVELY WORKING ON UNFAIR PRACTICES OF OTAS AND FOR A FAIR LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WHEN IT COMES TO RATE PARITY ALL OVER EUROPE
Meanwhile, our Digital Task Force under the chair of Markus Luthe from IHA is still intensively working on unfair practices of OTAs and for a fair level playing field when it comes to rate parity all over Europe and not only in those countries, which could manage to get regulations in rate parity. HOTREC just launched the next digital distribution study and is closely watching the draft regulation on platforms from the Commission. We will also look intensively into restaurants this year. In addition, on the European Commission level the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was announced. With the support of the European Parliament it will highlight key developments of blockchain technology, promote European actors and reinforce European engagement and the ECJ’s decision on the UBER case might need some more competition law activities about similar offers.
Photo: Susanne Kraus Winkler President, HOTREC