Representing the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level, HOTREC brings together 45 national associations representing the interest of this industry in 33 different European countries. The industry counts in total around 2 million businesses, being 99,5 percent small and medium-sized enterprises.
Representing Greece once again on the committee, Vassilikos said he was honored to be re-elected during these challenging times.
“A lot was achieved during the last few months but a lot remains to be done in order to overcome the extraordinary situation we are facing… The present conjuncture requires a long term recovery plan that must include all parties involved in our respective businesses, i.e. EU, local governments, banking systems and so on,” Vassilikos said in an announcement.
Moreover, he added that the pillars of the announced recovery tools need to be practically translated for hotels, restaurants, cafes in Europe “so that they present a pragmatic way for our members to face the current difficulties and to grow in a sustainable way in a technologically challenging environment”.
The new HOTREC Executive Committee (ExCom) was announced following the association’s recently held virtual 81st General Assembly.
Jens Zimmer Christensen (Denmark), President; Marc Van Muylders (Belgium), Vice-President; and Adrian Cummins (Ireland), Treasurer, were unanimously re-elected.
ExCom members include Alexandros Vassilikos (Greece), Antonio Flamini (Italy), Dirk Beljaarts (Netherlands), Markus Luthe (Germany), Melissa Morandi (France), Morten Thorvaldsen (Norway), Ramón Estalella Halffter (Spain) and Václav Stárek (Czech Republic).
New HOTREC leadership to face Covid-19 challenge
“COVID-19 hit the industry first and the hardest. Businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector – 90% of them micro-enterprises – struggle to survive and millions of jobs are at risk. The deployment of significant financial support from the EU and the individual Member States is essential to bring the sector back on track,” HOTREC’s president, Jens Zimmer Christensen, said.
According to HOTREC Director General Marie Audren, the only way to overcome the coronavirus crisis is for all member states to act in a coordinated manner by harmonising travel restrictions, so as to bring confidence back to travellers.
“The agreement reached on 13 October on this topic by the European Council is to be considered a good start, but hardly a solution. HOTREC and its European partners believe that the freedom of movement should be restored and that quarantines should be replaced by an EU common testing protocol,” she added.