Aiming to ensure fair play and a competitive environment, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis referred to the importance of new legislation regulating the short-term rental market to be tabled in parliament in the upcoming period.
The draft bill focuses on three key areas, Theoharis said in a recent interview to Greek website Newsit.gr: “The first is in the direction of fair competition, doing away with ‘loopholes’, and ensuring that everyone understands that they must be registered either with AADE or with the tourism ministry,” said Theoharis.
He added that the second and third pillars focus on “minimum hygiene and safety requirements as well as guidelines” for emergencies such as earthquakes as well as on introducing restrictions in areas that are over-saturated.
GTP Headlines presented the suggested amendments last year. More specifically the said draft bill covers the following:
- Stricter tax compliance and instant removal from online sharing platforms of all undeclared properties (without a registry number) – to be implemented by the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE),
- New security requirements,
- Mandatory property and visitor insurance which will cover both owner and guest according to international standards.
Economy and tourism ministry officials are still looking into the possibility tax deductions for fixed costs including water, electricity, utilities and municipal charges.
According to Theoharis, Airbnb initially developed “for the right reasons”, offering, on the one hand, a cheaper accommodation alternative, and on the other, giving Greeks who had taken blow with the crisis the chance to make ends meet.
On the downside however, the minister notes, “this phenomenon has grown out of proportion, competing directly with the rest of the tourist product”.