ECONOMY

Tourism sector warns against further VAT hike

While the decline in annual tourism revenues is no longer expected to exceed 10 percent, thanks to numerous offers made by the sector’s enterprises to offset the drop, tourism professionals are warning of greater losses and more unemployment next year if the government raises value-added tax higher still. The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) suggested in a statement yesterday that even a 1 percent VAT hike for tourism services would result in a considerable loss in revenues, given that demand in the sector is particularly sensitive to price changes. Companies in Greece managed to absorb this year’s repeated increases but a new one will be beyond their ability to absorb and will have to be passed on to tourists, it warned. The Hellenic Hotels Federation added that imposing VAT of 15 to 18 percent (from 11 percent today) would be