EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

The hotels and catering sector - what future?

Sector Futures provides specialised reports based on the monitoring of existing foresight studies, scenario work, innovation studies and reliable data sources. December 2005 features the complete Sector Futures article series on the hotels and catering sector. It sets out by defining the sector, outlining its market size, structure and employment figures, and looks at the trends and drivers shaping the sector. Subsequent articles assess the impact and review some scenario work relating to the sector’s future before concluding with an analysis of major policy issues and challenges facing the industry.

The hotels and catering industry in the EU generated 6% of the total value added in the non-financial services sector in 2001 and employed more than 7.5 million workers. Distinctive features include a high proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and an above-average rate of part-time employment. Among the key drivers affecting the industry are changing consumer lifestyles, new technologies and globalisation. These drivers are forcing the sector to continue to evolve, and as a result it faces some uncertainties. The industry is also affected by legislation introduced in response to these drivers.

From defining trends and drivers…

The first article of three, Hotels and catering - what future?, delineates the European hotel and catering service industry and examines its market size, structure and employment figures. It then looks at the trends and drivers with a significant influence on the sector, raising some uncertainties and issues at stake for the industry and governments. Examples include the impact of technology on operations and labour demand, the current skills gap in the industry and the impact of consumer protection legislation.

…towards visions for the future

Following the overview of the sector and initial look at trends and drivers in the first article of this series, the second article, Hotels and catering sector - visions of the future, examines these trends and drivers in more detail and presents a framework to link them together. The article also reviews some scenario work relating to the sector before concluding with an examination of the implications on the sector of the drivers and scenarios. Examples of the implications include better working conditions, consolidation and more consumer protection.

Policy implications

Having looked at the trends and scenarios and their implications, the third and last article in this series, Hotels and catering - policies, issues and the future, carries the discussion forward to look at major policy issues and challenges facing the sector. The analysis considers the time profile of each major issue and how it affects regions, businesses and the sexes. The policy issues identified include working conditions and human resource development, legislation and new technologies.

All three articles are available for downloading free of charge as one pdf file: Sector Futures - The hotel and catering sector (pdf1.32 Mb).
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