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Greek Small Hospitality Business Owners Call on PM to Ensure Fair Play

The Aristotelis Federation of Tourist Lodging Owners is urging Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to take immediate measures that guarantee fair play in view of the continuously growing home-sharing sector.

In a letter to Tsipras, the federation is demanding the implementation of a long-term strategy that will protect the viability of small accommodation facilities and thus safeguard tourism development across Greece.

According to the federation, increased taxation on legal tourism operations is taking a toll on their viability. The trade body says legal Airbnb-style rentals are subject to 15 percent tax, whereas in the case of legitimate businesses licensed by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), taxation may reach 80 percent.

The federation is calling on Tsipras to address the Airbnb phenomenon, before it “results in irreparable damage to the country’s tourism product”, adding that many of the homes on offer through the sharing economy are operating “illegally, unreported and are of doubtful security, offering no services”.

The president of the federation, Dimitris Hadalis, underlined in the letter that some 55,000 licensed hospitality businesses with a capacity of approximately 1 million beds are currently in operation, most of which have moved ahead and modernized facilities with the aid of EU programs, providing high-quality tourism services, offering quality and safety to their visitors, creating new jobs and supporting the economy.

Hadalis goes on to note that some 70,000 Airbnb-style rentals are currently on offer in Greece, many of which do not meet the standards and are operating illegally thus depriving the state of revenue and at the same time taking a toll on legal operations.

The federation is among the majority of Greek hoteliers and accommodation professionals that are up in arms over what they claim is the “unfair treatment” of legal operations compared to home sharing entrepreneurs. 

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