The Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs is calling on Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis to include businesses running thermal springs and spa facilities in the government’s financial support program in view of Covid-19-related damage.
“Greece’s thermal springs have been on the rise in recent years and we must all ensure that its course is not stopped by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic or at least try to limit the negative effects it may have any way we can,” the association’s secretary general, Markos Danas, told GTP Headlines.
In the letter to Theoharis, the association is requesting the suspension of taxes and levies for March; business subsidies depending on losses and wage costs; the 800-euro benefit for employees who are currently not working due to closure; and suspension of tax and insurance obligations for four months.
“We are making an effort to cooperate with the government on appropriate measures in order to support the businesses that run Greece’s thermal springs, which is an important special interest tourism form,” Danas added.
The association is requesting support for businesses operating spa facilities in the following areas: Angistro (Sintiki Municipality), Sidirokastro (Sintiki Municipality), Lagada (Lagada Municipality), Loutraki Aridea (Almopia Municipality), Smokovo (Sofades Municipality), Chanopoulou (Artaion Municipality), Edipsou (Istiea-Edipsos Municipality), Kammena Vourla (Kammena Vourla Municipality), Loutraki Corinth (Loutraki – Perachora – Agioi Theodoroi Municipality), and the Gulf of Gera (Mytilini Municipality).
“Given the importance of these businesses for the local economies, please include these spa operations as well as supporting hotels in the areas above under special protection status as affected by the coronavirus pandemic,” the association wrote to the minister.
The Hellenic Association of Municipalities with Thermal Springs is an associate member of the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), which is responsible for the management of the European cultural route of historic thermal towns. EHTTA counts three Greek member thermal destinations (Krinides-Kavala, Loutra Pozar and Loutraki).