Statistics in Focus. SME statistics Hotels, restaurants and cafés Micro-enterprises dominate the sector.
Hotels, restaurants and cafés (Horeca) make up an important service sector in European economies, with considerable potential for growth in most countries. The Horeca sector includes mainly: hotels, restaurants, cafés, pubs and bars, camping sites, canteens and catering services. In 1996, some 1.4 million enterprises in this sector directly employed more than 6.5 million people in the European Union (EU). These figures represent about 7.7 % of total EU enterprises and 5.8 % of total EU employment. Between 1993 and 1996, there was an increase of about 3.9 % in the number of enterprises, 7.6 % in employment and 5.9 % in turnover. Tourism activities play the key role in this sector. They provide supplementary incomes, create employment, contribute to infrastructural and regional development and, in broader terms, help foster integration both within Europe and between Europe and the rest of the world. The demand for tourism activities is rising continuously, even in the main destination countries, e.g. France, Spain and Italy. This edition of Statistics in Focus shows that, despite a falling number of enterprises in many Member States and an increase in size and capacity, it is still the small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) which dominate Horeca services.