David McMillan, CEO of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA), represented the international hotel and restaurant industry at a meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) held in Tunis last week, 27-28 March, to voice industry opposition to the inclusion of hotel and restaurant services in the scope of the work proposed for the ISO Technical Committee on “Standards for Tourism & Related Services.“IH&RA is pleased to confirm that the industry voice was heard.
The meeting rejected the first draft of the proposed scope for the work of the Technical Committee (that included hotel and restaurant services).
Four other draft “scope” proposals were submitted, heavily debated and ultimately not approved due to a stalemate among ISO voting members who are representatives of national standards bodies around the globe (IH&RA, as an industry association in official “liaison status” with ISO, can voice its opinion but does not vote).
A Task Force was formed to draft a new “scope” for the work of the Technical Committee to be ready for review by June 26. IH&RA was successful in securing a position on this Task Force, comprised of 9 national standards organizations, and will continue to press for exclusion of hotel and restaurant services from the future work programme of the Technical Committee, however this may be defined.
What does this mean for the hotels and restaurants?
It means that it is essential to keep voicing your opposition to this ISO initiative. Specifically, national hotel & restaurant associations should continue to write to their national standards body to voice industry opposition to the drafting of international standards covering hotel & restaurant services and insist that their views be taken into account. IH&RA will continue to lobby both private and public sector organizations at the international level on this issue. It is essential to keep up the momentum!