HOTREC And IRU Join Forces

23HOTREC and IRU to work together to promote innovation and level playing field for all service providers in fields of hospitality and passenger road transport.

HOTREC, the trade association of the European hospitality industry, and the International Road Transport Union (IRU), announced their will to work together to promote innovation, high quality services to customers and a level playing field for all service providers of tourism accommodation and transport, including unregulated online accommodation providers and unregulated transport platforms.

Both organisations will join forces to identify challenges and seek solutions. Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC, said, “The rapid development of the so called shadow economy in the field of tourism accommodation provision and for-reward ride-sharing transport platforms might be harmful for the consumers, as safety and security are not always guaranteed in the provision of services, which are provided through certain online platforms.”

Professional tourism and transport are subject to strong regulations in all EU countries, backed by regular controls, which guarantee the health, security and safety of consumers. While complying with these regulations comes at a cost, it more importantly guarantees safe and high quality services to customers. However, some service providers of tourist accommodation or ride-sharing as well as their distribution platforms are either excluded from regulation or deliberately disregard rules, with which professional businesses in the transport and tourism sector are obliged to comply. Oleg Kamberski, IRU Head of Passenger Transport, concluded, “A level playing field ensures that private businesses embrace innovation and promote high quality and safe services to customers using the latest technology. The IRU launched the innovative Global Taxi Network to help generate a network of legal, safe, high quality taxi app providers that are easily accessible by customers worldwide. Working with HOTREC will strengthen our advocacy for fair competition and high quality customer services.”

HOTREC and the IRU call on public authorities across Europe to implement policy initiatives that effectively address unregulated or illegal service providers of tourism accommodation or for-reward ride-sharing platforms. These initiatives should act as safeguards to protect consumers, while also ensuring fair competition for all by protecting businesses that operate legally. They should also facilitate further innovation in the professional tourism and transport sectors.


HOTREC represents the hotel, restaurant and café industry at European level. This industry includes around 1,8 million businesses, of which 99% are small and medium sized enterprises (91% of them micro enterprises, i.e. employing fewer than 10 people). These businesses make up some 59% of industry value added. The hospitality industry provides some 10.2 million jobs in the EU alone. Together with the other tourism industries, the sector is one of the largest industries in Europe. HOTREC brings together 42 national associations representing the sector in 28 different European countries

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