Hoteliers raise the alarm over shift to rentals

Hoteliers raise the alarm over shift to rentals

The Association of Attica Hoteliers is warning that the shift in recent years from traditional forms of accommodation to peer-to-peer property rentals will wreak havoc with the country’s hotel industry and create a gaping hole in state revenues.

According to the association’s president, Alexandros Vasilikos, the trend will only be offset if both forms of accommodation come under the same taxation rules.

If not, he says, state revenues will suffer from shortfalls in the collection of value-added tax as peer-to-peer property rentals are not subject to VAT levies.

Vasilikos says there are 15,000 apartments rented to tourists in Attica alone.

Apart from the impact on state coffers, the reduction in bookings at Athens hotels – which work on a 12-month basis – will also impact jobs.

The rise in peer-to-peer property rentals has also prevented the hotel industry from enjoying the lucrative benefits of the increased tourist flows to Athens in the previous two years.

Despite this rise in arrivals, recent data show that bookings at hotels in the capital are at the level they were in 2008 – while charging lower rates.

Moreover, the crisis that hit the hotel industry from 2009 to 2013 led to the closure – or the suspension of operation – of 87 hotel units in Attica.

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