Established in 2003, the Chamber of Commerce of the Polish Hotel Industry (IGHP) aims to support the development of the hotel industry, and assist in the facilitation of the administrative procedures at local, regional, national and EU level. Ireneusz Weglowski, President of IGHP, discusses the Chamber’s goals and current activities.
European Times: What is the role of the IGHP?
Ireneusz Weglowski: The Chamber’s main activity is to support the development of the hospitality industry in Poland. In this context, the Chamber’s main role is to participate in the development of legal regulations concerning the tourism industry, defining ethical principles and standards of behaviour in the hospitality sector. This is done with the participation of the Chamber’s representatives in the work of advisory and consultative bodies, which collaborate with the state administration on business matters in the hospitality industry.
IGHP conducts promotional activities for the members, providing patronage of all the initiatives, events and trade fairs and establishing contacts with national and international partners. The Chamber is also involved in the certification of products and services for the hotel and catering industry, and plays an active role in the prevention of unfair competition in the hospitality sector.
European Times: How is IGHP organized?
Ireneusz Weglowski: Regarding the membership of our organization, 90% of our members are hotels, but there are also producers and supplier companies of goods and services for hotels, and hotel high schools and technical colleges. Currently we have more than 230 hotels as our active members, with capacity of over 30,000 hotel rooms, covering a fifth of the hotelier market in Poland. Among our members are chains such as AccorHotels/Orbis, Qubus Hotels, Louvre Hotels Group, DeSilva Hotels, Golebiewski Hotels, Zdrojowa Invest but we also have many small individual hotels.
European Times: What are some of IGHP’s achievements?
Ireneusz Weglowski: Considering that the Chamber voices the hotels requests in legal terms, we are currently playing an important role in the reduction of the fees defined for the industry, such as the copyright fees and the retransmission fees. We have been helping develop a new program for education in the hotelier industry (internship in the hotels), that fits the specific needs across the industry. We have also succeeded in the fee reduction for credit card usage from 3% to ca. 0.3%. In 2015 IGHP became a member of HOTREC, an umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafes in Europe which takes care of vital industry interests by lobbying and making interventions within EU institutions.
European Times: What are IGHP’s future goals?
Ireneusz Weglowski: Our plan is to further lobby and influence legal solutions so that the hotel industry in Poland has a good and healthy ground for its development. We currently make analysis to introduce the Hotel Stars Union (HSU) in Poland and we have already started discussions about this with stakeholders. Our priority is to strengthen the organization within the region and deepen collaboration with HOTREC. One of our major aims is to attract more hotels and potentially restaurant businesses to join IGHP.