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HOTREC proposes 5 key pillars for the collaborative economy in accommodation European hotels applaud the European Commission´s initiative to develop sectorial guidelines.


Brussels, 14 February 2017 – HOTREC, the European trade association of hotels, restaurants and cafes, welcomes the European Commission’s initiative to elaborate sectorial guidelines in the ‘collaborative’ economy. As a contribution to the Commission’s initiative, the hospitality sector unveils today 5 key pillars for a responsible and fair ‘collaborative’ economy. Indeed, the often uncontrolled provision of tourist accommodation is more and more shaping the tourism offer.


According to the relevant European professional association, collaborative platforms offer 20 million beds for tourists in Europe (7.3 only being registered in Eurostat), which needs to be compared to 13 million beds in hotels and similar establishments. Thus it should be a natural development to put clarifications to the duties and responsibilities of the various stakeholders involved, which this European Commission exercise aims to facilitate.

The current Commission initiative should aim at leveling the playing field with licensed operators which comply with extensive regulations, and at setting simple rules to operate the market and differentiate private from professional activities. Therefore, consumer rights are better protected, fiscal revenues are paid, black economy declines and all businesses benefit from a healthy competition. In its 5 key pillars for a fair and responsible collaborative economy the European Hospitality industry demands to:

  • Recognise the activity officially,
  • Identify professionals,
  • Pay taxes due,
  • Ensure health and safety, and that
  • All players, like suppliers or platforms, act responsibly.

HOTREC believes that to make the most of the “collaborative economy”, suppliers as well as the facilitators of the supply, namely the platforms, shall assume their duties and responsibilities in order to allow for a sustainable, fair and responsible overall economy” said Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC. “Regulated hospitality enterprises are doing it already, providing jobs for 10 million people and contributing to state treasuries with around 126 billion EURs a year” added Mr. de Barrin.

The vast majority of regulated hospitality businesses are family or micro-enterprises, operating often in a seasonal manner, thus making their activities comparable to regular collaborative types of activities. Thus it is not that unfair to call for clarity on the market so that similar activities can compete on a similar level” added Mr. Ramon Estalella, Chair of HOTREC’s ‘Collaborative’ Economy Task Force.

HOTREC will continue contributing to the ongoing European discussions on the matter and believes that the collaborative economy can only be successful on the long term, if the interests of relevant stakeholders are well taken into account.

What is HOTREC?

HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. This industry includes around 1,8 million businesses, of which 99% are small and medium sized enterprises (91% of them micro enterprises, i.e. employing fewer than 10 people). These businesses make up some 59% of industry value added. The hospitality industry provides some 10.2 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is one of the largest industries in Europe. HOTREC brings together 43 national associations representing the sector in 30 different European countries.

For further information:

PRESS CONTACT: Daniel Makay +32(0)2 504 78 42,