Tourism enterprises eligible for the Third Community Support Framework subsidy cycle include small to mid-sized C, D and E class hotels, as well as B class hotels with a capacity of up to 125 beds. Also eligible are C and D class camping grounds, and furnished rooms, apartments and houses rented to tourists. Proposals also will be considered from travel agencies, businesses arranging tourist transportation, ship charters and ferry bookings, as well as businesses operating marinas, conference centers, ski resorts, and sea and mineral water spas.
In presenting this latest funding program, Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis stated that the government’s chief priority is to support mid-to-small sized businesses through subsidies, investment laws and tax reforms. A total of 71.5 million euros is available for subsidies in the tourism sector from the 210 million euros dedicated to this third subsidy program.
Subsidies may be used to renovate buildings and facilities, modernize administrative services and implement quality assurance programs. Proposal budgets can range from 10,000 euros to 350,000 euros, and applicants must be able to match 25% of the budget. Eligible businesses can employ up to 50 people.
Subsidies for tourism businesses will range from 43% to 48%, depending on the geographic region. For the purposes of the program, Greece has been divided into three regions. Region 1, for example, includes Attica, Thessaloniki and the islands. Tourism businesses in this region must have a turnover of 15,000 to 10 million euro, and are eligible for a 45% contribution.
In a move to reduce time and bureaucracy, banks rather than the state are responsible for the review and acceptance of proposals in this latest cycle, which began in mid March. Minister Alogoskoufis stressed that the banks will ensure faster and more complete service. Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Christos Folias explained the banks will review and select proposals, deliver subsidy payments, monitor and audit project progress and spending.
Twenty-six selected Greek banks are accepting proposals, including EFG Eurobank, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, and National Bank. Contracts with the banks will likely be signed within 55 working days of the proposal submittal deadline in June. Banks will be paid 1,200 euro for each proposal reviewed, plus 500 euro for each one selected, and 3% of the approved budget.