The Pan-Hellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) recently wondered where exactly Greek tourism was headed as, according to press reports, travel agencies are assumed to be included in plans to open so-called “closed-shop professions.”
In January, the Greek Government unveiled a draft bill to open closed-shop professions under the terms of Greece’s 110 billion euros bailout loan.
According to the press, in regards to tourism, plans include the lifting of the door price of hotels (the door price is charged to walk-ins and is usually the highest price prescribed by the GNTO in its annual minimum-maximum hotel rates).
Press reports also mentioned government plans to alter the current conditions for the practice of the tour guide profession.
In addition, GEPOET stressed that while the tour bus profession was also planned to open and thus licenses easier to obtain, “it is wondered if the same would be applied to the KTEL buses that already monopolize the Greek public transport sector.”
According to travel professionals, the Greek bus operators (KTEL) that connect Athens to other cities in Greece basically have untouchable privileges and practice unfair competition by encroaching on the turf of tour buses. On the other hand, tour buses are literally excluded from the territory of KTEL buses.