The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) will hold an emergency board meeting on Tuesday 16 December to discuss possible “devastating effects” on the economy and tourism due to the unsettled political situation in Greece.
The heads of Greek tourism sector associations will also attend the board meeting, which will focus on the industry’s response to a possible reversal of the – until recently – positive climate for Greece.
SETE’s president, Andreas Andreadis, recently told the press that a downtrend had been noticed in the rate of bookings to Greece due to the recent political developments.
Meanwhile, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) recently sent letters to Greek government officials, through the Greek body for travel agents HATTA, regarding the possible doubling of the VAT rate for accommodation in Greece.
The European professionals stated that the short notice of implementation of an increased VAT rate for hotels (from 6.5 percent at present to 13 percent) would deeply affect incoming tourism to Greece.
Greek Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni appears to strongly oppose a possible VAT increase for hotels. Speaking to SKAI, the tourism minister said that she had not been informed of the intentions of the government when negotiations were in process and that a VAT hike for accommodation is a “wrong measure”.
She added that should the measure be taken, the Tourism Ministry would seek “compensatory measures” so the competitiveness of the tourism product of Greece would not be harmed.