ECONOMY

Hoteliers blast Airbnb-style model

hoteliers-blast-airbnb-style-model

At least 8,000 residences in Athens have been illegally rented out to visitors in a “property share” model popularized by sites such as Airbnb, which has led to increased tax losses for the state from illegal accommodation, according to data presented on Tuesday by the head of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, Alexandros Vassilikos.

While arrivals at Athens International Airport grew in the September-November period, hotels in Attica have seen a decline in occupancy rates, which Vassilikos blamed on peer-to-peer property rentals, in which transactions generally pass under the tax radar.

He noted that while some properties are rented out to tourists without paying any tax at all, legal hotels have to pay a total of 24 various levies to the state.

Vassilikos also cited other illegal forms of tourism accommodation, such as the suspicious case of 126 apartments supposedly rented by a single tenant, or the 32 apartments in the same block of flats that were all rented out to tourists.

Citing data from the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, the head of the capital’s hoteliers noted that the loss in tax revenues from illegal lodgings in Greece exceeds 350 million per annum, and called for government initiatives to impose a tax during the booking process and impose a regulatory framework.