The imposition of the “stayover levy” from the start of 2018 will deal a blow to the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product, in terms of both pricing and quality as well as employment, according to a study by Grant Thornton for the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.
In the medium term, the loss from the levy – which will be calculated based on the number of overnight stays at an accommodation unit – is expected to come to 435 million euros per annum, which is more than five times the yearly benefit of 84 million euros that the state is projected to collect. It has also been estimated that the levy will cost the sector 6,174 jobs.
Although the tax will not exceed 4 euros per room per night, it will still create pressure on final prices if passed on to customers or increase corporate costs if absorbed by the hotels. In a global market where the internet allows for instant price comparisons, every euro makes a difference, according to sector officials.
The head of the chamber, Giorgos Tsakiris, has called on the government to revise its decision for the levy, branding it “destructive,” while the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos, warned that the geopolitical conjuncture will not always be favorable and it may then “be too late” for changes.