The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) is calling on the government to extend its new (seventh) round of refundable financial assistance also to tourism businesses.
The “repayable advance” measure, known in Greek as “epistreptea prokatavoli”, is tax-free aid in the form of state loans to businesses affected by the outbreak of Covid-19. Half of (50 percent) the grant is non-refundable.
In a letter to Finance Minister Christos Staikouras, SETE is requesting that the new round of refundable aid allotted to businesses which were forced to remain closed by the government in Q1 2021 and have suffered losses, include tourism enterprises that were allowed to operate.
“We believe that companies operating in the tourism sector should have similar favorable treatment,” said SETE in its letter.
Citing the lack of liquidity impacting tourism businesses which are either underperforming or were forced to close on their own, SETE said the measure should include businesses active in tourist accommodation, travel agencies, and transport.
“Due to ban on movement, mandatory quarantine imposed on arrivals from abroad, as well as other restrictive measures implemented, tourism businesses are virtually out of business and have either been forced to shut down or remain open but deprived of revenue,” SETE said.
The confederation is also proposing that tourism enterprises eligible for upgrade incentives be allowed to combine granted tax exemptions with refundable deposit support in efforts to offset losses thus contributing to their viability until Covid-19 subsides.