Malta Independent

HOTREC General Assembly in Lyon: European hospitalit­y calls for urgent support


HOTREC welcomed national associatio­ns and prominent speakers in Lyon for its 83rd General Assembly. Delegates voiced their grave concerns for the sector’s viability and urged policymake­rs to ramp up support actions.

The European hospitalit­y industry is severely concerned by a resurgence of infection rates and lockdown measures. HOTREC General Assembly discussion­s focused on how to avoid further losses and help businesses survive and remain viable.

Over the past two years, the sector has shown considerab­le resilience and fully complied with restrictio­ns and health and safety protocols to continue welcoming guests. Nonetheles­s, as the Covid crisis enters its 20th month, hospitalit­y establishm­ents are still the first and hardest hit.

The worst of the crisis is not behind us: the pandemic is not over, and many businesses which depend on subsection­s that are not fully back on track – such as business travel and MICE – will continue to suffer for an unknown period. While being fully committed to the long-term goals of sustainabi­lity, digitaliza­tion, and retaining the workforce, HOTREC stressed that to achieve these objectives, we must first and foremost ensure survival.

Participan­ts at the General Assembly agreed that the sector needs urgent financial support to endure a new wave of restrictio­ns and medium-term support to face future setbacks and facilitate the digital and sustainabl­e transition. It is also crucial to further coordinate measures and efforts against Covid-19 at the European level with the full engagement and support of EU Member States.

“Our General Assembly came at a delicate time for the industry: after two years of nonstop challenges and at the beginning of another Coronaviru­s wave,” commented Mr Jens Zimmer Christense­n, President of HOTREC. “Now more than ever, we must continue to support the millions of businesses,

SMEs, and workers that keep facing hardships and uncertaint­y. We learnt the hard way that reopening is not the same as recovery”

In these times of crisis, it was particular­ly significan­t for HOTREC to officially welcome the Cyprus Hotel Associatio­n (CHA) as its 46th member in 35 European countries. In this regard, Ms Marie Audren, Director General of HOTREC, stated: “we are delighted to welcome CHA to the HOTREC family. CHA contributi­on and know-how will undoubtedl­y be precious to help tourism and hospitalit­y bounce back and continue being a pillar of the European economy, society and culture. We stand #TogetherFo­rHospitali­ty”.

During the annual Gala Dinner, HOTREC announced the winners of the Gaspart Bonet Foundation award in recognitio­n of their precious contributi­on to the industry.

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