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Greece Can Count on ‘Friendly Taxation’ to Boost Tourism

Platys Gialos, Mykonos, Greece. Photo: Y Skoulas/Visit Greece

Platys Gialos, Mykonos, Greece. Photo: Y Skoulas/Visit Greece

Implementing an attractive tax policy can a go a long way towards boosting tourism to Greece, according to finance and tourism experts participating in the digital “Greece: Competing for Global Talent” event organized this week by the Delphi Economic Forum.

Tourism, finance, and legal experts agreed that the Greek government was moving swiftly ahead with reforms to its taxation framework offering incentives to Greeks and particularly to non-Greeks interested in moving their tax residence to Greece under the “non-dom tax scheme”, which is aimed at stimulating growth and remedying brain-drain caused by the Greek debt crisis. It offers significant tax breaks to Greeks abroad who chose to return and work in Greece as well as to returning pensioners.

Speaking at the event, Athena Kalyva, secretary general for tax policy and public property, said despite the pandemic and travel restrictions, the government had received more than 60 applications, “while 10 applications by people who want to transfer their tax residence to Greece have already been processed.

Kalyva underlined that for the first time Greece “had a step-by-step approach in place, competitive, key legislation for people wishing to come and invest”, adding that taxation can serve as a “tool to enhance tourism”.

Marketing Greece CEO Ioanna Dretta, also speaking at the event, said the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted an upward seven-year rally and upset tourism businesses.

But it is also an opportunity for public infrastructure to improve, but also for tourism enterprises to re-position themselves,” she added.

The event also highlighted ways to attract not only investors but their families and business partners, tapping into health and silver tourism which could potentially generate 13.6 billion euros in revenues in a decade and create 105,000 jobs, and creating new tourism products that could attract different types or travelers, key among them digital nomads – a category the tourism ministry is aiming to attract.

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