Greece’s tourism professionals, represented by the Greek Tourism Confederation, are calling on the government to immediately implement a series of emergency measures in two phases in order to safeguard the sector, keep businesses afloat, and avoid an increase in unemployment.
Top priorities for SETE aimed at boosting competitiveness and reducing operating costs for Greek tourism enterprises include suspending loan payments and social insurance contributions, reducing taxation on accommodation to 6 percent and to 13 percent in the F&B sector in the 1 July 2020-31 December 2020 period, and VAT to 13 percent on transport for the same period.
At the same time, SETE is also calling for additional promotional actions for Greek tourism.
Aiming to support employment and secure liquidity, SETE proposes the following measures for immediate implementation, including suspending current tax obligations; reducing the number of working days for hotel staff for unemployment benefits eligibility; deferring or reducing by at least 50 percent advance income tax duties for businesses; and retaining airline levies paid by passengers at current levels until 31 May 2020.
The measures apply to all tourism-related businesses including accommodation facilites, tourist agencies, exhibition and conference organizers, tour bus companies, airlines, airports, ground handling companies, car hire companies, cruise sector, ports, and outdoor activities providers.
“At this stage, it is clear that by the end of May at least, the negative climate will grow. We expect things to balance out after that, and in the case of a positive scenario, we hope for a rebound in the second half of the year,” said SETE in its statement.