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“HOTREC continues to

bethekeypartner forus

in the implementation

of our initiatives”

Dear Readers,

It was just a year ago when I addressed you here, in HOTREC’s Annual

Report. Despite being a world leader, EU tourism still needs to face many


Businesses still need our support to access finance. We have a lot of work

ahead to improve the reputation of tourism careers. Professional skills

need to be developed on the basis of curricula that meet the needs of the

industry. Consumer expectations are changing faster than ever and we

witness the rapid evolution of new business models. Competition from

emerging destinations remains strong and Europe continuously loses its

market share. In addition to all these, our continent and destinations are

suffering from the aftermath of last year’s terrorist attacks.

It is essential that we work together to help the industry in facing these

challenges and to preserve Europe’s position as the world’s top tourism


In the Commission, we adapt actions to tackle new challenges and help

the sector enhance its competitiveness.

First, we continue helping SMEs to use new and existing financial

resources smarter. We have organised several events, also in cooperation

with our stakeholders, devoted to exchanging good practices on the use

of the EU funds and programmes, such as the Juncker Plan, the Structural

Funds and the COSME Programme. We updated our

“Guide on EU funding

for the tourism sector”

and published it in all EU languages.

Second, under the

New Skills Agenda for Europe

, we are working to

establish a sectorial cooperation aiming at matching tourism education

with the skills needed by the industry, so that tourism careers become

more attractive and prosperous for young professionals.

Third, we keep on supporting tourism SMEs in their use of digital and

online tools. We are updating the Tourism Business Portal and will soon

publish a new series of webinars on digital and online marketing skills for

tourism entrepreneurs.

We keep a close eye on the development of the collaborative economy. In

June last year, we published the

European Agenda for the Collaborative


. It provides horizontal guidance on how existing EU legislation

should apply to newbusinessmodels. Furthermore, we are noworganising

sector-specific workshops on collaborative economy in the tourism

accommodation sector, in which HOTREC plays a key role by representing

the EU hotel industry.

The 2018 EU-China Tourism Year and the European Year of Cultural

Heritage are excellent opportunities for Europe to attract more visitors,

especially from third countries’ markets. We will give more visibility to our

destinations and highlight Europe’s cultural heritage and creativity.

Finally, we work with our public and private stakeholders on ways to

increase our preparedness to react in front of security incidents, while

continuing to raise the profile of Europe as a high-quality and safe tourism


The role of industry associations is very important in the success of these


I thank HOTREC for their cooperation in several actions, for example on

skills, digitalisation and the collaborative economy workshops. HOTREC

continues to be the key partner for us in the implementation of our



by Mrs Elżbieta



for Internal Market,



and SMEs