Two par­al­lel mar­kets in ac­com­mo­da­tion

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ILIAS BELLOS

Short-term prop­erty leases to tourists through web­sites such as Airbnb are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly in Greece, as a reg­u­la­tion for their tax­a­tion has still not gone into force. Mean­while, it is es­ti­mated that for ev­ery 100 ho­tel beds in Athens there are an­other 70 of­fered through the “grey” mar­ket on the In­ter­net. There are sim­i­lar rates in other parts in the coun­try.

Grant Thorn­ton cal­cu­lated over a year ago that the size of that mar­ket in Greece was close to 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros, but given the rapid in­crease recorded (with Koukaki in down­town Athens be­ing Airbnb’s sixth most rapidly de­vel­op­ing area in the world) this is es­ti­mated to have more than dou­bled al­ready.

This trans­lates into state rev­enue losses of some 195 mil­lion eu­ros per year for the first 1.5 bil­lion eu­ros of turnover, ac­cord­ing to the Grant Thorn­ton study, and as much as 400 mil­lion eu­ros if the in­dus­try has in­deed dou­bled.

Un­of­fi­cial es­ti­mates speak of up to 100,000 prop­er­ties on of­fer via In­ter­net plat­forms for short-term leas­ing, against 50,000 in 2015.

There­fore, there is the of­fi­cial ho­tel sec­tor, whose tax­a­tion keeps in­creas­ing – through the rise in value-added tax rates, the up­com­ing tax per night’s stay and the gen­eral tax and so­cial se­cu­rity hikes on cor­po­ra­tions – and a par­al­lel sec­tor of ac­com­mo­da­tion through the econ­omy of shar­ing that for the time be­ing evades tax­a­tion.

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