Seven leading hospitality and F&B services associations in Greece joined forces to establish the “#stirizo_HoReCa alliance” (Support HoReCa Alliance) aimed at promoting the best interests of the sectors and working together towards a sustainable future.
More specifically, the “Support HoReCa Alliance” for the Sustainable Development of Hospitality and F&B in Greece consists of the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX), the Panhellenic Federation of Restaurant Enterprises (POESE), the Greek Federation of Spirits Producers (SEAOP), the Hellenic Association of Drinks Distributors (ENEAP), the Greek Bartenders Association, the Bar Restaurant Café Enterprises Association (BARECA), and the Athens Bar Show.
During the Covid-19 crisis, HoReCa sectors supported the Greek economy but are now faced with unprecedented challenges, including still recovering from the impact of repeated lockdowns and pandemic measures and now the impending energy crisis, the groups said in a joint statement.
Seeking to foster constructive dialogue on a national level, the alliance announced that it had drafted a Charter of Common Positions and Commitments for Sustainable Development of the Hospitality and F&B Sector in Greece.
The charter recommends:
– reducing VAT on accommodation services to 6 percent – as was the case until 2015 – or alternatively harmonizing it with the EU average in order to strengthen competitiveness
– reducing VAT on F&B services to 6 percent to mitigate the negative impact of inflation and the high costs caused by soaring energy prices
– adjusting the Special Consumption Tax on alcoholic beverages to the EU average
– providing additional support or extension of existing relief measures to catering and hotel businesses impacted by the pandemic
– including HoReCa companies in announced funding programs
– safeguarding legally-operating accommodation providers through the implementation of a legal framework that sets specific rules in relation to the operation of short-term rentals, identifying illegal hospitality services providers and enforcing foreseen penalties.
Data by the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE) shows that the sectors combined are among the strongest contributors to Greek economic growth.
More specifically, according to ΙΟΒΕ 2021 data, collectively the sectors contribute 9.8 billion euros to the economy accounting for more than 5.5 percent of the country’s GDP. Additionally, 112,000 companies across the sectors create some 552,000 direct jobs, which correspond to 11.9 percent of employment in Greece.
The hospitality and F&B sectors generate 3.6 billion euros in salaries and social insurance contributions and 1.181 billion euros in taxes accounting for 2.5 percent of the state’s tax revenues.
“There are difficult challenges ahead of us. As we continue the struggle for survival, we join forces and become participants in every effort that will strengthen the hospitality industry, upgrade our tourism product, and improve the competitiveness of Greek hotels,” said POX President Grigoris Tasios.
“Reducing taxation on tourist packages to the levels of other Mediterranean countries and reducing VAT on accommodation to 6 percent are the hospitality sector’s key demands,” he added.