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Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, Maltese Tourism Minister, Mr. Tony Zahra,

President of MHRA and European Commissioner Karmenu Vella

during the Malta General Assembly.

Mr. Eiki Nestor, President of the Estonian Parliament, and

Mr. Verni Loodma, President of the Estonian Hotel and

Restaurant Association during the Tallinn General Assembly.

Photographer : Erlend Štaub






Commissioner Vella and Minister Zammit attend HOTREC’s Malta General Assembly

On the occasion of HOTREC’s 73


General Assembly inMalta, on 27-28 October 2016, HOTREC received European

Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the portfolio of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and

Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, Maltese Tourism Minister as guest speakers.

Commissioner Vella highlighted the economic importance of tourism in Europe, in particular coastal tourism,

which together with cruise tourism, yachting and marinas, provides almost 3 million jobs and generates

revenues of 400 billion euros in the EU. He announced a call for proposal making available €1.5 million to

promote maritime sites across Europe. He encouraged businesses to embrace innovation to invest in upskilling;

to develop vocational training alliances; to continue promoting Europe as a destination in third countries, namely

in China, in order to make Europe an even more attractive destination.

Dr. Edward Zammit Lewis, presented the priorities of the upcoming Maltese Presidency. The organisation of

a high-level conference on the completion of the Digital Single Market was one of the points announced. The

Presidency will also stimulate discussions on visa facilitation and liberalisation agreements and is willing to

envisage a solution on the Visa Code reform. Substantial progress will be done in the negotiations relating to the

revision of the Waste Framework Directive (which incorporates measures on food waste reduction).

HOTREC fully welcomes the Commission and Council Presidency priorities in the field of tourism. Europe is the

heart of worldwide tourism and should be put at the centre of European economic policy.

HOTREC discusses innovation within its 74


General Assembly in Estonia

As digitalisation is changing the nature of our daily life and of the hospitality industry, as well as being one of

Estonia’s driving force, HOTREC organised a specific session on innovation as part of its 74


General Assembly

held in Tallinn on 27 April 2017. At the initiative of the President of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association

(EHRL), Mr. Verni Loodmaa, and in presence of the President of the Estonian Parliament, Mr. Eiki Nestor, dozens

of delegates from the hospitality sector across Europe discussed how innovation is changing the hospitality

sector as it is currently working.

In particular, the delegates were presented with the result of a new study from TCI research about designing

the future of the hospitality experience, which was showing the need for even further innovation in hospitality

in Europe to better meet consumer expectations. Besides, examples of new technological developments in the

industry were also presented. The participants also discussed the success of the “e-Estonia programme, digital

society and infrastructure” which gave Estonia a strong leadership in Europe on the digitalisation of the economy,

a phenomenon which also affected the hospitality industry.