Greece’s yachting professionals are expressing their grave concerns over the government’s recent decision to increase value-added tax (VAT) to 23 percent on charter fees.
In a letter to Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, Antonis Stelliatos, president of the Hellenic Professional Yacht Owners Association (EPEST in Greek), is calling for the application of a uniform tax on all forms of accommodation, whether at sea or on the mainland, thus including boat charter fees under the 13 percent rate applicable for hotels (as of October 1) and not under the current 23 percent rate.
Mr Stelliatos described the sector’s request as fair and added that accommodation and hospitality services are the same in both mainland and sea tourism.
He further noted that the recent banking crisis has had dire consequences on marine tourism, with more than an estimated 60 percent of the season’s charters canceled.
In his letter, the EPEST president underlines the damage that the decision will cause to sea tourism as it annuls all previously arranged charter deals and thwarts any efforts to attract new clients.
Concluding, Mr Stelliatos points out that Greek sea tourism is in direct competition with neighboring countries like Turkey and Croatia, where VAT on boat charter fees is 0 percent and 6 percent respectively.