HOTREC 83rd General Assembly in Lyon | European Hospitality calls for Urgent Support

On 2-3 December 2021, 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”.

Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) is being represented by President Tony Zahra and CEO Andrew Agius Muscat who was also one of the speakers in a panel discussing ‘Key social affair topics and HR Challenges’ in the hospitality sector.

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

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