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HOTREC constantly strives to develop services to its Members that achieve measurable results for

the benefit of the industry in Europe. With this goal in mind, HOTREC conducted various activities and

successfully reached a broad number of policy achievements in 2016/2017.

A strong advocacy campaign to keep facilitating tourist arrivals from the US and


As the European Parliament threatens to request the end of the visa waiver system for American and

Canadian citizens entering the Schengen zone, due to a lack of reciprocity applied to some Member

States, HOTREC together with NET (Network for the European Private Sector in Tourism) and the

European Travel Commission conducted a large advocacy campaign towards the Members of the

European Parliament to keep the system in place. The campaign stressed the dramatic economic

consequences a temporarily suspension of the visa waiver for US and Canada citizens would have on

the European tourism sector (e.g. a potential annual 22% drop in visitors to the EU, a loss of EUR 6.8

billion annually, a potential loss of 140 000 jobs in the tourism industry). Moreover, the risk of retaliation

measures would be rather high.

As a result, the Canadian government announced that the visa waiver would be in place from1 December

2017 to all Schengen countries. Moreover, the European Commission confirmed in March 2017 that it

will continue diplomatic talks with the U.S. government to make them apply the visa waiver regime to

the remaining Member States (Poland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia) as soon as possible.

Making EU consumer and marketing legislation fit for the new tourism sector

HOTREC also regularly engaged with the European Commission about the Fitness check of the EU

consumer and marketing law acquis. The aim of this fitness check is to assess whether the main EU 6

Directives regulating consumer protection are still fit for purpose in terms of effectiveness, coherence

and relevance.

Aspart of thisprocess, HOTRECsharedwith theEuropean institutions its expertiseabout thedigitalization

of the tourism sector and identified several areas where the current EU legislative framework shall be

further improved, such as:

The application of existing consumer legislation to the “collaborative” economy, in order to ensure

that consumers are protected, whatever the identity of the service provider is;

A better protection of consumers against misleading claims by online platforms;

The need to offer a form of protection to small businesses contracting with dominant commercial


By implementing those changes, the European Commission would ensure a fair level-playing field for

all business operators.



HOTREC is campaigning to keep

increasing tourist arrivals in Europe

by promoting a dynamic visa policy

while keeping security the number 1