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KHN: Alcohol clock hotels once again the pinnacle of symbolic politics

According to this decision, from tonight onwards, no more alcohol may be served or consumed in hotels after 20:00 in public areas such as in the restaurant or bar of the hotel. Also, no alcoholic drinks are brought by the room service. According to KHN, the setting of an alcohol clock in hotels is the example of symbol politics and shows little empathy. ‘It is unacceptable that stricter measures are being introduced again for the catering industry, while the problem is not with the location, but with the behavior and the lack of support for the measures in society.’

KHN issues the following statement:

‘Disproportionate measures’
As of tonight, no alcohol may be served or consumed in public areas in hotels after 20:00. Also, no alcoholic drinks are brought by room service. However, guests are allowed to use alcoholic drinks in the hotel room (for example from the minibar). According to the Security Council, this decision was taken because there have been some incidents with young people who had organized parties in hotel rooms. However, these incidents can be counted on one hand and, according to KHN, are totally unrepresentative of what is happening in the 2500 hotels across the country. Apparently a handful of incidents is a reason for the cabinet to punish the nearly 2,500 hotels and their thousands of guests. The fact that the cabinet – in order to come across as decisive – is duping the entire hotel industry because of the image that according to them all hotels in the Netherlands are full of partying young people, testifies to little knowledge of reality and is the pinnacle of symbolic politics.

What does hospitality still mean?
Guests stay in hotels for a wide variety of reasons. Many people depend on a hotel stay, not only for private appointments such as vacations, but also for work. Offering these guests hospitality is desperately needed, especially in these times. But with this last piece of hospitality taking away, it seems that the only sector that is still open must now also be broken. The problem is not even in the loss of turnover after 8 p.m., although hotels currently have little or no turnover due to a decline in international tourism and less or no business spending. With this decision you remove part of the essence of a hotel stay, namely enjoyment in a hospitable way. Many hotels can responsibly welcome their guests; hoteliers work according to strict protocols, but this is not considered at all. Setting a hotel alcohol clock for hotel guests is the needless downfall of a sector that is already in dire straits and that cannot be explained to hoteliers. As a result, they not only experience direct damage due to loss of turnover after 20:00, the indirect blow will probably be much greater; namely a further decline in the demand for hotel stays.

Support base
According to KHN, the main agenda should be how the government increases support for the measures. The problem is not in the location, but the biggest problems are the behavior of people and the support in society. You cannot solve this by setting an alcohol clock. We have already seen that with the closure of food and beverage outlets, the problem is once again shifting to the greatest source of infection – the private sphere – while the catering industry, with all strict protocols, can offer a safe alternative to house parties and (illegal) gatherings. Beer sales in supermarkets shot up. In addition, after the ban on alcohol sales after 20:00, the sales peak moved to earlier in the day. Again no problem is solved. KHN therefore foresees more nuisance on the street and in illegality in the coming period.

Scientific substantiation is again lacking
Moreover, there is also a lack of scientific support for the effectiveness of these measures. In addition, there is still no substantiation for the previously announced measures for the catering industry. KHN sent Minister De Jonge a letter a month ago asking him to substantiate the measures. To our disappointment, we have not received any response. KHN sees the failure of Minister De Jonge to respond to the letter as a sign of disdain for the catering industry. After all, the cabinet has a duty of care, also towards BV Netherlands. And if the cabinet does take drastic measures that affect a sector so fundamentally, but refuses to substantiate it, then that can at least be called bad.

Come up with a scientific basis
KHN chairman Robèr Willemsen reports MarketingTribune additional: ‘The disappointment and anger is great. Again, we are not known about this decision and we must read the government decision itself on the website of the national government. Moreover, this measure also lacks any form of substantiation. Misunderstanding among our members has now also given way to anger. Just try to explain it; the hospitality industry is being hit hardest, while the cause lies elsewhere. And if there is no scientific substantiation for the effectiveness of the measures, how can you expect that support for the measures will be maintained? That is why we want scientific substantiation for this tightening and the measures that have been in force for a few weeks as soon as possible. This substantiation cannot fail if the cabinet takes the sector and the 500,000 employees seriously. ‘

‘KHN thinks in terms of possibilities’
KHN is critical when it comes to the scientific substantiation, but also extends its hand when it comes to options in the fight against the corona virus, the interest group reports. ‘That is why KHN is working with MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW on a plan that provides for smart measures and, above all, much more customization, to see what is possible per type of location. With this KHN wants to realize responsible relaxation for all different sectors within the catering industry. With targeted and efficient measures per company, there is no need to intervene unnecessarily in companies where there are no contamination problems and it is possible to work towards reopening the entire catering industry in stages. The aim of all parties involved is to ensure that these intelligent measures are given a good place in the cabinet’s roadmap in the short term. With this corona measures tool, entrepreneurs can better prepare for the moment when there is the prospect of a reopening again. ‘
(PvWK, Photo: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels)

About Koninklijke Horeca Nederland
‘KHN (Koninklijke Horeca Nederland) is the largest catering trade association in our country. With more than 230 departments throughout the Netherlands, we represent more than 20,000 catering entrepreneurs with about 255,000 catering employees. We stand for a professional and future-proof catering industry. We support our members through lobbying, advice and financial member benefits. This is how KHN gives the catering industry power. ‘

(source: KHN)

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