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MEP Istvan Ujhelyi, MEP Othmar Karas, President of

the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, HOTREC

President Susanne Kraus-Winkler, UEAPME’s

Secretary General Peter Faross and HOTREC CEO

Christian de Barrin






A Joint HOTREC-UEAPME event on how to make tourism SMEs a driver for job creation

In a joint event held on 30 November 2016 and aimed at fostering job creation and promoting competitiveness

of SMEs across Europe, HOTREC and UEAPME brought together 50 high level stakeholders from the broader

tourism sector. Co-hosted by MEP Othmar Karas, Chair of the European Parliament SME intergroup, and MEP

Istvan Ujhelyi, Vice-Chair of the TRAN Committee, the event counted with the participation of high-level speakers

such as MEP Antonio Tajani (Vice-President of the European Parliament at the time), MEP Cláudia Monteiro de

Aguiar and MEP Claudia Tapardel (co-chair of the European Parliament Tourism Intergroup).

The hospitality sector remains one of the very few sectors which

keeps creating tens of thousands of jobs every year

The event allowed to raise the participants’ awareness about the economic

importance of the tourism sector in Europe, as it provides 13 million jobs

and is the 3


socio-economic activity in Europe. The hospitality industry

also employs 80% of the total EU tourismworkforce (10 million direct jobs)

and provides jobs to all types of workers (33% being relatively unskilled),

therefore acting as a vehicle for social inclusion. Moreover, the hospitality

industry created 2.5 million jobs between 2000 and 2010 and still keeps

creating tens of thousands of jobs.

HOTREC and UEAPME presented 5 pillars to make hospitality

businesses and SMEs more competitive

With the objective to create even more jobs, HOTREC and UEAPME

unveiled 5 pillars of actions:

Digitalisation: a level playingfield for all tourismstakeholders including

new providers using platforms needs to be deployed to tackle unfair

competition and allow the 1,8 million small and medium-sized

enterprises of the sector to further invest in sustainable tourism and

modernise their infrastructures;

Taxation - high tax wedge on labour constitutes a strong disincentive

for companies to create more jobs. Lower taxes on labour should be


Seasonality is one of the biggest challenges. Public authorities and

social partners should secure the possibility to use flexible working


Skills: the hospitality sector is facing a huge skills shortage,

preventing to fill in vacancies. EU and national funding should be

deployed to organise massive trainings, develop apprenticeship

schemes, promote the European Hospitality Skills Passport and

detect emerging skills;

The image of the sector should be further promoted through the use

of EU funding.

The event was a crucial opportunity to make the voice of hospitality

businesses and SMEs heard and to show EU policy makers the way

forward to boost even further jobs and growth in the tourism sector.

“We should take better

advantage of the potential

of job creation and growth

inherent to the tourism


MEP Othmar Karas, 30 November 2016, joint