The Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) on Thursday requested for the government to more closely examine the impact of a new levy, before it comes into effect next year.
The new levy – the so-called “stayover tax” – will be imposed as of January 1, 2018, to hotels and furnished rooms/apartments for rent and calculated based on the number of overnight stays and the category of the accommodation unit, ranging from 50 cents to four euros per room.
The federation made its request following the recent statement of Deputy Finance Minister Katerina Papanatsiou in Parliament that the impact of the stayover tax will be assessed at the end of 2018, one year after its implementation.
According to POX, by then it will be too late for Greek hotels, as “the dynamics of tourism demand for Greece will come to a halt and the country’s tourism economy will be irreparably damaged”.
The federation underlined that if the stayover tax is implemented as planned, it will mainly affect businesses operating in the less popular Greek tourism destinations.
“It will also have a serious impact on any attempt to expand the tourism season, as it is known to everyone that room rates are significantly reduced as we move away from the peak summer months,” POX said.
The federation stressed that due to other charges hotels are facing, including the successive increases in VAT rates and the annual Single Property Tax (ENFIA), the majority of accommodation enterprises will be unable to absorb the levy and not pass it on to the customer’s bill.
“Already, this issue is a point of friction with tour operators, who are warning us that charging the stayover tax to customers will significantly increase the cost of travel packages and will result to a negative impact,” POX said.