Owners of tourism agencies, tourist bus services and small and medium-sized accommodation facilities in Greece are up in arms over a new development law tabled in parliament last week which does not include their areas of activities in its provisions.
Reactions by the General Panhellenic Federation of Tourism Enterprises (GEPOET) and the Hellenic Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Entrepreneurs (SETKE) come after the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) called on the government to include 3-star hotels in the new law which foresees among others support and tools for upgrade and modernization activities.
GEPOET is calling on Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Alternate Development & Investments Minister Nikos Papathanasis to reassess their decision adding that they were unable to understand the reasoning that their businesses were excluded from the new development law.
“The one-sided support by the state of hotels and only those in higher categories creates different speeds in Greek tourism, overlooking the quality supply chain of the country’s tourism product,” GEPOET said in its letter to the competent ministers, adding that it had made relevant comments during the public consultation of the bill and that now they had been excluded from any form of funding or support under the law.
GEPOET expressed its disappointment with the new development law noting that tour agencies and tourist bus services are “a key and integral part of the tourism chain” which have been impacted by the 10-year economic and Covid-19 health crisis.
“Without support from the state, we are unable to upgrade our businesses to meet the growing demands of our foreign visitors who expect higher and more quality tourist services.”
In addition, SETKE, the confederation that represents small and medium-sized accommodation facilities, issued an announcement calling on the government to include its businesses in the new development law before it goes to vote in parliament.
SETKE pointed out that its businesses continue to be excluded from development programs despite being assured by Greek Development and Investment Minister Adonis Georgiadis that the situation would change.
According to SETKE, the new law is the “only opportunity” for small and medium-sized accommodation facilities to upgrade their services in order to cope with the high competition in the tourism market.
“While entrepreneurs of small tourist accommodation were waiting for the new development law as a ‘life saver’, the exclusion of their businesses contributes to the inaction of their competitiveness and to their economic decline,” SETKE warned.
Earlier this week, in response to SETE’s call, Kikilias confirmed that modifications had been made to the law which now included the country’s 3-star hotels.