HOTREC expands its membership in Georgia, Poland and Spain
HOTREC, the European umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés, welcomed today during its 76th General Assembly three new members: the Georgian Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe Federation(HOREKA), the Association of HORECA employers in Poland (ZPHoReCa) and Gremi d'Hotels de Barcelona in Spain.
“We warmly welcome these three leading hospitality associations from Georgia, Poland and Spain in the HOTREC family. These new memberships clearly demonstrate HOTREC’s success in representing and defending the hospitality industry’s interests across Europe. HOREKA, ZPHoReCa and Gremi d’Hotels de Barcelona’s voices will further increase HOTREC’s effectiveness in all its activities” commented Ms. Susanne Kraus-Winkler, President of HOTREC.
“We are very pleased to join this leading European organisation servicing the interests of the hospitality sector. Joining HOTREC is very important for Georgia - as it is the first and biggest opportunity to maintain our service industry in accordance with international standards. Being a member of a European organization in the hospitality industry and sharing European experience is a big honour for us” commented Ms. Ketevan Meladze, President of HOREKA.
“We believe that we have common interest in Europe to promote hospitality. HOTREC is a unique forum where we can share experience and discuss development barriers in our States. Joining HOTREC – together with our partners from Chamber of Commerce of the Polish Hotel Industry – we can better contribute and make the Polish hospitality industry more visible in Europe” underlined Mr. Marcin Zawadzki, President of the Board of ZPHoReCa.
"It is very important for us to be part of the European family of European hospitality entrepreneurs. Gremi d’Hotels will bring its expertise to help shaping the strategy of this important European association”, said Mr. Joan Gaspart, Vice-President of Gremi d’Hotels de Barcelona.
Through these three new membership, HOTREC expanding its membership to 43 hospitality associations active in 30 European countries, further consolidating HOTREC’s undisputed leadership in representing the hospitality and tourism sector in Europe.
Commission proposal for more certainty in business relations with online platforms: The right step ahead says the hospitality industry HOTREC also welcomed Commission's proposal to promote fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services and search engines. HOTREC expects that the new rules would bring more balanced business relationships in the Digital Single Market compared to the situation of today.
Online platforms, like Online Travel Agencies, in many cases have gained dominant positions in certain markets over the past years, which often led to the application of practices, which have been considered by many business users unfair. In the hospitality sector, which is to 99% comprised of small and micro enterprises, entrepreneurs are more and more losing control over their products and services they offer to consumers. Terms and conditions of online giants have become very much one-sided, with no room for manoeuvre for entrepreneurs. Intransparent algorithms and rankings, unilateral punishment of businesses for perceived misconduct make trade operations unpredictable and more costly. Today’s European Commission proposal shall help overcome these and other market failures allowing for a more predictable and transparent Digital Single Market contributing to more and fairer competition, growth and jobs.
“When a single online platform controls two third of an online intermediated market representing several hundred thousand suppliers, the fragmented businesses cannot step up alone against practices considered unfair. This Commission proposal will help fixing some market failures and bring more fairness in the online markets”, commented Mr. Markus Luthe, Chair of the HOTREC Distribution Task Force and HOTREC Executive Committee member.
The Commission proposal requires platforms to ensure objective and more transparent procedures when setting their terms and conditions for business users as well as redress mechanisms. The way rankings are determined shall be more transparent and predictable, while the handling of complaints would be under a closer scrutiny increasing chances for more effective dispute resolution.
“This proposal has been long awaited by the European hospitality industry and it is a good step in the right direction. HOTREC hopes that with some improvements the decision making procedure can be finalised before the renewal of the EU Institutions in 2019, not to lose time for businesses to benefit from a more balanced Digital Single Market. We look forward to the support of the European Parliament and the Council”, concluded Mr. Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.