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SETKE: Short-term Rentals Threat to Small Accommodation Facilities, Society

Thessaloniki, northern Greece, Photo Source: Visit Greece / H. Kakarouhas

Thessaloniki, northern Greece. Photo Source: Visit Greece / H. Kakarouhas

The Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises (SETKE) has compared the Airbnb phenomenon which has taken Greece by storm in the last few years to the mythological Hydra, the serpentine water monster which grew two heads for every head chopped off.

SETKE, which represents small and medium-sized accommodation units in Greece, used the strong symbolism to draw government attention to the unregulated expansion of home-sharing practices, which are not only taking a toll on the viability of hospitality businesses and on the national economy but also on society as a whole, noting that it has created great difficulty for individuals seeking to rent homes long-term and has in many cases impacted the quality of tourism and home rental services offered countrywide.

SETKE is calling on the government to “comprehend that all business activities must be subject to rules, terms and conditions, which must be strictly enforced by everyone with no exceptions. Thus we are requesting an amendment to the law so that all parties involved  in tourist accommodation be obliged to have a licence of operation and declare services to the tax authority”.

According to the confederation, though a relatively recent practice, short-term rentals are taking a toll on the “structure of entire residential areas, transforming apartment blocks into tourist accommodation operations, which are altering the social fabric of entire neighborhoods and the security and living conditions of those living in the apartment buildings.

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