Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Tuesday said that the value-added tax (VAT) charged on tourism-related services will very soon be slashed to the 13 percent rate (from 24 percent) so Greek destinations can be tax-competitive compared to countries in the wider Mediterranean area.
Speaking on Greek TV station SKAI, Minister Theoharis said he was confident that the VAT cut will be included in the upcoming tax bill and in time for the next tourism season.
On Greece’s tourism progress this season, the minister said that visitor numbers are estimated to remain stable compared to last year, and that even if an increase is recorded it can not be compared to the influx of tourist flows observed in previous years.
Minister Theoharis also stressed the need for upgrading Greek accommodation units and extending the tourism season both geographically and over time through a five- or ten-year strategic plan and investments.
Moreover, the minister mentioned that their are certain aspects of Greece’s tourism industry – such as ski resorts – that have been deprived of investment and have not been promoted as part of the Greek holiday experience, resulting to the loss of revenue for some of the country’s destinations.
“According to the current data, (only) five of the country’s 13 regions are enjoying 80 percent of the tourist traffic and revenue”, he concluded.