ECONOMY

Hoteliers say more refurbishment is needed, not new luxury hotels

Hoteliers have called for a more discriminating application of the investment incentives law for the construction of four- and five-star hotels, calling for restrictions in the approval of projects to be subsidized. The Hotels Chamber and the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers said in a joint statement that their sector’s permanent position is that more attention be given to the modernization of existing units and to special tourism infrastructure projects, so as to serve the quality upgrade of the Greek tourism product in the best way possible and allow for free business competition. Both groups of hoteliers disagree with the allocation of direct subsidies for new hotel units in areas of high touristic development, because through this the price of the unbuilt land rises disproportionately and the hotel product’s price is lowered. They call for retaining a policy of determining sections in the country where direct incentives do not apply. Similarly, the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) says the government’s intention to proceed with subsidizing new hotels before the zoning planning for tourism is complete and without any specific criteria for enriching and varying the tourism product goes against the spirit of the investment incentives law for balanced development, the improvement of tourism’s competitiveness and protection of the environment. It therefore calls on the government not to subsidize new four- and five-star hotels before all these procedures are complete.