The Peloponnese Tourism Organization (PTO) is urging the government to take immediate action and implement controls on Airbnb-style tourist rentals.
Marinakos said Greece was lagging behind other main tourist destinations in Europe and worldwide where tough measures were being taken to address the issue.
Late last year, the Paris city council voted to tighten the rules on converting commercial space into short term rental properties in efforts to limit disruption to the balance of local employment, housing and commerce in the French capital.
At the same time, major tourist destinations worldwide are now reporting housing shortages as property owners prefer to rent their properties to tourists.
“Across Europe actions are being taken apart from our country, where not only do these accommodations continue to operate normally in the midst of the pandemic without health and safety rules, but we also have a clearly inadequate legal framework which is easily misused covering up for the operation of illegal tourist accommodation,” said the PTO in its letter.
Marinakos underlined that in the meantime, regions, municipalities and social security funds are losing revenues with the government increasing levies on legal hospitality operations.
“We are requesting that you safeguard the country’s tourism product and enterprises which have been supporting local communities and economies,” he said.
In the meantime, Greek tax authorities said they would be cross-checking tax declarations in efforts to identify property owners who have not declared Airbnb-style operations. Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) said property owners have until February 28 to update or complete relevant rental information.
In 2020, Airbnb notified real estate owners in Greece renting out their properties short term that information would be sent to the AADE for taxation purposes. At the same time it was set to launch its “City Portal” pilot project allowing local governments to closely monitor listings.