Hotels say VAT cut would lift crisis-hit sector

Hotel owners held a conference in Athens yesterday, where they called on the government to institute measures to boost the sector, such as reducing value-added tax (VAT). ‘The crisis requires immediate support measures,’ Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE) Chairman Gerasimos Fokas said. ‘We will consider it an achievement if small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of Greek tourism, have survived (and met their goals) when the crisis is over,’ he said. National Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis is scheduled to meet with representatives from the tourism industry today along with Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos. Tourism is one of the country’s biggest sectors, accounting for some 20 percent of annual economic growth.