Tourism fears impact of fresh levy

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels president Giorgos Tsakiris

TAGS: Taxation, Tourism

Tourism professionals attempted damage control on Monday ahead of the planned imposition of a levy on Greek accommodation units based on occupancy rates. The “special stayover levy” has not yet been defined but will apparently come into force from early 2017 and will be imposed on most hotels and rented rooms. Initial estimates point to a charge of 2 euros per night’s stay per person.

In this context, the head of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Giorgos Tsakiris, sent a letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday asking him to personally act and prevent the activation of the above measure that “will be the killing blow for Greek hotels and for Greek tourism in general.” Tsakiris added that the chamber realizes that the introduction of such a levy will not only undermine this tourism season but also the competitiveness of Greek tourism.

The president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, also expressed opposition, writing on Twitter that “the prime minister announced yesterday [Sunday] the incentive of having tax rates stable for 12 years for investments. With a value-added tax twice as high as at rival destinations and the new stayover levy, what is that stability in aid of exactly?”