GREEK TOURISM INDUSTRY FEARS NEW TAXES

Pat Hyland - May 23, 2016
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The currently planned tax raises leading to increased prices in museums and other attractions, might harm Greek tourism industry, according to Andreas Andreadis, the head of the Greek tourism association.

Currently, the travel sector expects positive numbers over the summer season. A good number of hotel rooms have been booked by travelers, who used to holiday in Turkey and Egypt. Compared to these countries, Greek tourism industry benefits from good security.

Tourism contributes 25 percent to the country’s GDP. Despite the positive hotel occupancy numbers, the industry fears the planned tax raises.

Currently, the Greek administration is proposing tax raises and saving programs in order to meet the designated savings target of 5.4 billion Euro set by its creditors. Greece can only expect further financial aid if it successfully arranges these savings.

According to Andreas Andreadis, the head of the Greek tourism association, the prices for overnight stays, drinks, museum fees, and other tourism-related products and services are going to increase when the taxes become effective. This might result in a considerable decrease in Greek tourism numbers.

According to him, studies show that roughly 40 percent of hotels and pensions in Greece struggle heavily to make ends meet.  In this context, he especially criticized the government’s plans to introduce a new fee for overnight stays.

A possible decrease in tourism numbers could weaken the already highly indebted country. Andreadis warned that the proposed money saving initiatives could lead to a misalignment with the country’s savings target. 

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