Thessaloniki’s hoteliers are sending signals of distress over plans by the government to increase taxes or introduce new levies on areas affecting the hospitality sector, saying this will inevitably lead to unsustainable fiscal burdens.
During a general meeting of the Thessaloniki Hotels Association (THA) held at the Mediterranean Palace Hotel this week, members expressed their deep concern over the decision to impose an “occupancy tax” in 2018, which they say will lead accommodation enterprises to the brink.
THA board president Aristotelis Thomopoulos spoke of a “tax storm” which is intensifying fears in the sector and said over-taxation as a result of an increase in direct or indirect taxes in recessionary conditions will impact the tourism sector and its businesses, as well as the competitiveness of Greece as a destination and ultimately “crush” hoteliers’ optimism.
Mr Thomopoulos further underlined that the unrestricted sharing economy is just adding insult to injury, depriving state coffers of millions of euros as it remains unable to combat tax evasion.
The THA’s president concluded that incoming tourism traffic and revenues at hotels for the first quarter of the year were far from satisfactory, despite a marginal increase in the number of overnight stays, revenue per available room remained very low.