Do not make the same mistake twice
By Georges Panayotis, President & Founder of MKG Group & Hospitality ON
Should Ryanair and OTAs be put in the same category as profiteers who play with international rules to limit their fiscal and social expenditure? Certainly, the clever use of national social security and taw systems must be controlled, but we return to the debate on the value added that each brings to the economic activity of European countries.
Do not have a short memory. European by nature, low-cost airlines tied together all of Europe by facilitating travel from country to country and this is what we need. The countries of northern Europe are united with southern countries: the contribution of customers, sales and VAT collected on one side, balancing social costs ... Ultimately the exchange remains in Europe and strengthens the competitiveness of tourism enterprises. It is in the European tradition of fostering weakened national economies to catch up to the leaders. The experiment was conducted with profit in several French regions. This compensation is acceptable within Europe and even legitimate in the context of globalization, as long as it does not establishing a lasting disturbance.
The same cannot be said for PTAs which have come to feed on an already active market, benefitting from a clientele already coming to Europe and its cities. With relentless technology and disproportionate power of communication, they convinced clients to favor their channel. But where is the promotion of the destination? What is really the proportion of new clients directed towards French and European establishments by OTAs? In any event, it does not justify the toll levied on hoteliers and even less the transfer of profits outside national borders, to avoid paying tax. The power does not excuse everything and healthy competition rules should apply to all.
Do not make the same mistake twice. Europe should support its businesses and favor the emergence of new competitors who will serve its tourism development. If it is not intended to protect monopolies, it should not open its doors to predators and let them take advantage of loopholes in the regulations. Only the argument of value added is admissible. It is concretely measurable in additional tax revenue that European states collect. Hoteliers, traders, transporters, those who really create value, must stand before the power of distributors who have forgotten their role in providing business to become a collector.