Tackling illegal accommodation and tracking down payments should be the government’s first priority, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) said in a statement released on Tuesday, adding that though it supports negotiation efforts to bring the country back to growth, the tourism sector should not be sacrificed in the process.
According to SETE, the government can bring over 500 million euros to state coffers if it enforces fines on illegal accommodation units which fail to pay taxes and insurance contributions. SETE also called for salaries to be deposited directly into employee bank accounts and for transactions over 100 euros to be made only by credit card ensuring in this way transparency.
SETE’s response comes after recent statements by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that the government may impose a new luxury tax or “holiday” tax to hotels and destinations. Though a similar tax is applied in other countries, SETE stresses that the revenues collected go to municipalities in order for them to invest in resources needed to provide quality tourist services.
“In no case is this tax associated or attributed to the state,” SETE added.