The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels called for the state and the private sector to overhaul their forces in order to formulate a new tourism strategy, which will assist the industry to limit the negative impact of the international economic crisis.
In a round-table discussion among chamber members, key ministers and economic experts, the chamber’s president, Gerassimos Fokas, proposed a series of short-term measures to address the crisis starting with the reduction of the value added tax (VAT).
Mr. Fokas requested from the minister of economy and finance, Yiorgos Alogoskoufis, the permanent abolition of the two percent “sojourn tax” (on overnights) that hoteliers are charged by municipalities and the withdrawal of the common real estate tax (ETAK) imposed on the hotel industry.
Separately, in a meeting with hotel associations Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos said that he would soon announce a series of measures to relieve tension from tourism businesses.
However, Mr Spiliotopoulos clarified that it is impossible at this time to satisfy all of the hoteliers’ demands due to the international crisis.
The minister added that measures will be taken to ensure cash flow in tourism enterprises and called on banks to contribute in this direction.
According to reports, the measures requested by hotel owners in regards to benefits reach some 250 million euros.
Meanwhile as hoteliers are demanding support measures, major tour operators, such as TUI, have requested price reductions of the hotels due to the economic crisis.