Entitled “Restructuring the Greek National Tourism Organization, reducing administrative burdens, simplifying procedures to support tourism business and other provisions,” the new tourism bill views to strengthen investments and entrepreneurship in tourism, restructure tourism services and establish the necessary provisions for the reorganization of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).
Amongst other things, the bill:
- removes the special tourism investment service (“fast track service” established for the faster licensing procedure of tourism investments) from the responsibility of the GNTO and assigns it to the Tourism Ministry.
- announces the launch of a Tourism Observatory to utilize the data and findings of the Tourism Satellite Account, study the Greek tourism market and target measures for the development of the tourism sector.
- provides for the appointment of a tourism coordination committee that will consist of a chairman (Tourism Minister) and members (secretary generals of the tourism ministry and other ministries related to tourism issues)
- sees the establishment of GNTO offices in target markets such as Turkey, Brazil and Serbia.
- sees the placement of tourism attachés in Greek embassies of markets that lack GNTO offices.
- opens the way for the establishment of a General Commercial Registry Service within the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.
In regards to hotels, among other things, the new tourism bill:
- introduces “condo hotels” that can operate with long-term leases. (Condo hotels are four or ﬁve stars hotel lodgings, featuring independent apartments or ﬂats, which can be considered as independent properties and can be leased or rented to a third party.)
- sets the necessary documents for the licensing of tourist accommodation complexes (holiday homes) and allows existing 4- and 5-star hotels to be converted into tourist accommodation complexes.
- allows for tourist villas (detached houses, 100 square meters minimum) that are currently rented illegally to tourists, to receive the GNTO seal and be leased up to three months per year.
- introduces “youth hostels” as a new type of hotel accommodation (converted from old and outdated hotel units).
For details on the new tourism bill (in Greek), press here.