ECONOMY

VAT hike ‘downgrades value of tourism product’

The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels warned on Thursday that the competitiveness of the country?s tourism product will be considerably reduced following the government?s decision to raise value-added tax on food from 13 to 23 percent.

That means the VAT paid at Greek hotels and restaurants will be higher than that at all rival destinations.

The tax hike will bring about a significant increase in holiday packages, the chamber suggested, which will downgrade Greece?s prospects as far as signing contracts for 2012 is concerned.

Another negative factor is the bad publicity the country has received as a result of industrial action by taxi owners? and recent riots in the center of Athens, it added.