SETE chief writes to min­is­ter to stress tourism in­dus­try’s value

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

The pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Greek Tourism En­ter­prises (SETE), An­dreas An­dreadis, has writ­ten to Al­ter­nate Min­is­ter for So­cial Se­cu­rity Pav­los Haikalis, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the tourism sec­tor for em­ploy­ment and as a rev­enue gen­er­a­tor for the gov­ern­ment’s in­sur­ance cof­fers.

In a let­ter sent to Haikalis yesterday, An­dreadis said that the tourism in­dus­try out­weighs other sec­tors of the econ­omy in terms of jobs and rev­enue gen­er­ated for the gov­ern­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the latest avail­able data from 2014 re­ferred to in the let­ter, the vol­ume of paid em­ploy­ment pro­vided by the tourism in­dus­try in­creased by 23 per­cent last year. In the res­tau­rant, bar and cafe sec­tor, em­ploy­ment went up by 39 per­cent. Em­ploy­ment in­creased by 30 per­cent at camp­sites, by 15 per­cent at ho­tels, and in travel agen­cies it was up 12 per­cent in 2014.

Dur­ing July last year, 137,139 new job open­ings were recorded in the tourism in­dus­try com­pared to the same month in 2013. In to­tal, jobs in the tourism sec­tor reached over half a mil­lion in July 2014, equal­ing a third of paid em­ploy­ment in the pri­vate sec­tor.

Dur­ing 2014, to­tal salaries in the in­dus­try came to 3.8 bil­lion eu­ros, rep­re­sent­ing an in­crease of nearly 500 mil­lion eu­ros com­pared to 2013. The av­er­age monthly wage in the sec­tor in 2014 was 1,000 eu­ros.

To­tal con­tri­bu­tions from tourism to the IKA in­sur­ance fund in­creased by al­most 200 mil­lion eu­ros in 2014, reach­ing 1.6 bil­lion eu­ros, which rep­re­sented 16 per­cent of or­ga­ni­za­tion’s rev­enue.

The tourism in­dus­try was re­spon­si­ble for con­tribut­ing 17 bil­lion eu­ros, or 9.3 per­cent, to Greece’s GDP in 2014. Ac­cord­ing to An­dreadis, tourism is not only a ba­sic pil­lar for the Greek econ­omy un­der the cur­rent dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances but the most vi­tal sec­tor for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment over the next years.

Haikalis an­nounced that he would in­vite the SETE pres­i­dent for a meet­ing to dis­cuss, among oth­ers, the is­sue of the illegal ac­com­mo­da­tion mar­ket. An­dreadis has re­sponded that he is draw­ing up mea­sures to com­bat the prob­lem in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the al­ter­nate min­is­ter, in­clud­ing mak­ing salary pay­ments into bank ac­counts com­pul­sory to com­bat tax eva­sion.

A woman car­ries a para­sol to pro­tect her­self from the strong af­ter­noon sun as a group of tourists walk around the an­cient ru­ins of the Tem­ple of Olympian Zeus in cen­tral Athens.

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