For a level playing field and fair competition in hospitality and tourism
12 October 2022 | EFFAT and HOTREC, the European social partners for the hotel, restaurant, bar and café sector are welcoming the European Commission’s intention to present a legislative initiative on short-term accommodation rental services (STR) by the end of 2022.
Since 2014, HOTREC and EFFAT have regularly exchanged views on the impact of the so-called ‘sharing’ or ‘platform’ economy on the European hospitality industry during their sectoral social dialogue meetings, and signed joint statements on the topic in 2015 and 2019, showing that social partners in the European hotel and restaurant sector share many concerns.
In fact, short-term accommodation rentals have become a fast-growing element in the tourism sector and are, despite growing professionalism, still largely uncontrolled and unregulated. This new accommodation phenomenon has brought forward many risks and challenges, such as unfair competition, safety hazards, unreported income taxes and pressure on affordable housing.
Based on the evaluation of the impact of STRs on business and employment in the hospitality sector¹, social partners agree that specific actions are required to overcome these challenges and to guarantee a level playing field and fair competition. The upcoming Commission initiative should:
- Establish a mandatory host registration system and mandatory data-sharing obligations for STR platforms that will provide authorities with relevant data.
- Introduce measures that will aim to reach a comparable level of health, safety and security for guests and employees as those already well-established for regulated tourism accommodation services.
- Ensure that basic rules apply to all STR hosts (professionals and peer).
- When adopted, guarantee that legislation is fully respected by all providers of hospitality and tourism services, through effective enforcement, supported by resources and legal power for public authorities to do their job correctly, so that:
- Customers are protected,
- Employees are treated fairly and entitled to their rights, and
- Responsible businesses enjoy a fair competitive environment / level playing field.
We strongly believe that incorporating these tasks in the upcoming legislative proposal would safeguard the competitiveness of hospitality businesses, the majority of which are microenterprises, protect the jobs of thousands of employees working in the sector, and promote consumer trust.
For EFFAT: Kristjan Bragason, General Secretary | For HOTREC: Marie Audren, Director General
¹See HOTREC Position Paper on EU-wide Regulation of Short-term Rentals: Link HOTREC Position Paper
EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions, also representing domestic workers. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 30 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations, and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.
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HOTREC is the umbrella association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafés and similar establishments in Europe, which brings together 47 National associations in 36 countries, and is the voice of European hospitality. HOTREC’s mission is to represent and champion its interests towards the EU and international institutions, foster knowledge sharing and best practices among its members to further promote innovation, and act as a platform of expertise for the hospitality sector.
Press contact: Marta Machado – firstname.lastname@example.org