European Hospitality Professionals Call for Urgent Support Against Covid
European hospitality professionals recently voiced their grave concerns for the sector’s viability due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and urged policymakers to ramp up support actions.
Attending HOTREC’s 83rd General Assembly in Lyon in early December, heads of national associations said they were “severely concerned” by a resurgence of Covid-19 infection rates and lockdown measures. HOTREC is the European umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés.
During the general assembly, industry professionals discussed on how to avoid further losses and help businesses survive and remain viable, underlining that as the Covid crisis enters its 20th month, hospitality establishments are still the first and hardest hit.
Business travel and MICE will suffer
“Over the past two years, the sector has shown considerable resilience and fully complied with restrictions and health and safety protocols to continue welcoming guests… The worst of the crisis is not behind us: the pandemic is not over, and many businesses which depend on subsections that are not fully back on track – such as business travel and MICE – will continue to suffer for an unknown period,” HOTREC said in an announcement.
While being fully committed to the long-term goals of sustainability, digitalization, and retaining the workforce, HOTREC stressed that to achieve these objectives, we must first and foremost ensure survival.
Urgent financial support needed
Participants at the general assembly agreed that the sector needs urgent financial support to endure a new wave of restrictions and medium-term support to face future setbacks and facilitate the digital and sustainable transition. It is also crucial to further coordinate measures and efforts against Covid-19 at the European level with the full engagement and support of EU Member States.
“Our general assembly came at a delicate time for the industry: after two years of nonstop challenges and at the beginning of another Coronavirus wave,” said HOTREC President Jens Zimmer Christensen.
“Now more than ever, we must continue to support the millions of businesses, SMEs, and workers that keep facing hardships and uncertainty. We learnt the hard way that reopening is not the same as recovery.”
During the general assembly HOTREC officially welcomed the Cyprus Hotel Association (CHA) as its 46th member in 35 European countries.