Greek hoteliers discussed the challenges of the industry and ways to ensure the best results for the upcoming year in tourism during the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) 6th general assembly held on Friday at the Metropolitan Expo in Athens, during the HORECA 2017 exhibition.
Besides urging collaboration and coordinated actions, more than 1,100 attending HCH members also discussed ways to secure the quality of services offered and exchanged concerns and pressing issues with Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, such as the infamous new levy (stayover tax) that will be charged on Greek accommodation units as of 2018. Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Andreas Andreadis and Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers President Yiannis Retsos were among the sector participants.
“They struggle day by day to meet their obligations and keep their employees. The VAT hikes and added taxes… as well as the failure on behalf of the government to enforce a legislative framework for the operation of short-term accommodation units are hindering growth in the tourism sector and fostering a problematic environment for the viability of the hotel business”, he said.
Tsakiris concluded with actions required to ensure the smooth operation and healthy growth of industry which include ensuring quality and value for money; employing advanced technologies in production, distribution and sale of hotel services; creating innovative hotel products attractive to new markets and clients; adopting multi-pricing approaches; tackling unfair sharing economy practices and investing in new talent while providing training to hotel staff in digital technologies.
During the general assembly, the chamber introduced a new action regarding a special certification model for Greek boutique hotels, presented the “Greek Breakfast” program certification process and provided updates on the trip2Athens digital platform.
The chamber also presented a study by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) regarding 2016 tourism data and the country’s hotel capacity. The study included an analysis of data involving the Greek hotel sector by region and informed on the carrying capacity for tourism development.