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Greece Among Countries Still Slow to Regulate Short-term Rentals

Greece is among a handful of countries in the European Union that has not legislated or failed to implement regulations with regard to short-term rental practices, according to a study released by services provider Ernst & Young (EY).

More specifically, according to the findings, a rise in demand for short-term rentals for tourism purposes (before the coronavirus outbreak) has, on the one hand, prompted the angered response of hoteliers who are required by law to implement a set of stringent and costly measures as well as pay hefty taxes and on the other, the demand of users, who are calling for transparency and safety measures.

At the same time, hoteliers are also pointing to glaring cases of tax evasion and unfair play which have resulted in a disproportionate impact on the property market.

The study goes on to note that most EU cities with high tourist rates, among these Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rome and New York, have been implementing strict rules, which however are divergent. Airbnb regulations range from requiring a special operational permit and limited rental time to rental taxation and classification of short-term leases under certain conditions as illegal.

In the meantime, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which has led to a standstill in incoming tourist activity, Airbnb owners have opted to wait it out or lease long term instead of selling their properties. Indicatively, in April, ads for long term rentals in Athens increased by 7.1 percent.

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