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Possible Changes To Greek Tourist Coach Sector Stirs Reactions

Tour-BusesGreek tourism professionals have expressed opposition to the government’s new multi-bill that will overhaul the rules that currently exist in the tourist coach sector. The multi-bill is expected to be voted in Greek Parliament on Sunday, 30 March.

The bill will allow new licenses to be granted to both new and second-hand coaches. (A previous law restricted new suppliers to enter the market with second-hand coaches and they were obliged to invest in new ones.)

This has triggered reactions from the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) and the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA).

According to HATTA’s announcement, the reform will not modernize Greece’s fleet of coaches whatsoever as new suppliers will enter the market with second-hand coaches.

On its part, GEPOET claims that the reform will be catastrophic for the tourist coach sector and will not be beneficial to the state or Greek tourism.

Objections were also made in regards to a reform that allows the tourist coach profession to be practiced by other professionals in private passenger cars.

Strike action – 15 April

In an announcement, GEPOET warned that if the ministers of development, tourism and transport do not take their objections under consideration then the sector of Greek travel agents and tourist coaches will launch a nationwide strike on 15 April.

The changes that the multi-bill will bring are based on a report released in late 2013 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that identifies a wide range of regulations and legal provisions that undermine competition in the country’s food processing, retail trade, building materials and tourism sectors.

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