Kountoura Pledges Support for Tourism SMEs at SETKE Congress
Excellent pre-bookings for 2018, more than 300 investments in the pipeline, supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and the premiere of the Greek Breakfast Basket initiative were among the issues Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura addressed during the 2nd Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises (SETKE) congress held over the weekend within the Xenia 2017 hospitality show at the Metropolitan Expo.
Referring to the ministry’s goal of ensuring year-round tourism, Kountoura referred to the policies and actions aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of tourism SMEs, which she said form the “backbone of Greek tourism”.
A part of the ministry’s strategy is to link the agri-food sector with the tourism sector towards the creation of experiential products that will pave the way for new business ventures, create jobs, increase revenue, strengthen local economies and further promote Greece and its products.
“The hospitality sector can very actively support the goal of integrating Greek products into the tourism chain,” she said.
In this direction, Kountoura lauded SETKE’s new Breakfast Basket initiative to feature select food items offered to visitors at hotels and accommodation facilities in 13 regions of Greece and which made its debut at the Xenia 2017 over the weekend, saying that it further enhanced Greece’s renowned hospitality.
Addressing the SETKE event, Kountoura went on to add that the government was looking into ways to reduce taxation on the sector, adding that the time has come for all those involved in the sharing economy through short-term rentals to pay up. A relevant decision signed by George Pitsilis, the head of Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE), goes into effect on January 1.
On a final note, the minister referred to the latest EU funding package of 230 million euros, 120 million euros earmarked for the establishment of new and the completion of incomplete tourism enterprises.