Extra ‘Sleep’ Tax Angers Greece Hoteliers
Weeks before the official launch of the summer tourism season, Greece’s hoteliers are furious over a proposed tax on accommodation which comes on top of other levies imposed last year.
In efforts to find additional revenue and receive a positive review that will release up to 5 billion euros in aid, the government has suggested to its international lenders an extra charge on overnight stays. The hospitality sector is up in arms as no one from the government has yet to deny the reports.
Tourism professionals across the board are expressing their dismay at the government, claiming it is wrongfully making decisions that will “destroy” one of the few remaining industries that are productive, particularly ahead of the tourism season and amid the heightened competition from neighboring countries. According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority, the number of arrivals to Greece rose by 7.1 percent in 2015 to 23.6 million visitors, from 22 million in 2014.
The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), representing more than 50,000 sector businesses, expressed its dissatisfaction in a letter to Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura. SETE President Andreas Andreadis is calling on the minister to refute rumors of the proposed tax, saying it will create disruption and confusion for Greek tourism entrepreneurs and their partners in the international tourist market.
The proposed “sleep tax” will amount to one euro daily per hotel star.