A reduction in insurance contributions could be the next best thing for Greek tourism following the lessened value-added tax rate on food services, according to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).
The Greek ministries of Finance, Labor, Social Security and Welfare are currently in talks with the country’s lenders – the troika – on reducing insurance contributions by 3.9 percent.
“If insurance contributions are actually reduced by 3.9 percent as of July, this will be a very positive development for the competitiveness of Greek tourism that will follow the reduction of the VAT rate on food services to 13 percent,” the association’s president, Andreas Andreadis, said on 26 February.
SETE expects Greece to welcome as many as 18.5 million tourists in 2014, up from 17.9 million last year.
Mr. Andreadis said the new upward trend of tourism demand from abroad in combination with the small improvement of domestic tourism, could create a total of 50,000 new permanent and seasonal jobs in the sector.
According to recent data, early bookings to Greece show that the country can expect more tourists from Germany, France and Britain this year.