Stay­over levy to cost tourism dearly

Kathimerini English - - Focus - ILIAS BELLOS

The im­po­si­tion of the “stay­over levy” from the start of 2018 will deal a blow to the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the Greek tourism prod­uct, in terms of both pric­ing and qual­ity as well as em­ploy­ment, ac­cord­ing to a study by Grant Thorn­ton for the Hel­lenic Cham­ber of Ho­tels.

In the medium term, the loss from the levy – which will be cal­cu­lated based on the num­ber of overnight stays at an ac­com­mo­da­tion unit – is ex­pected to come to 435 mil­lion euros per an­num, which is more than five times the yearly ben­e­fit of 84 mil­lion euros that the state is pro­jected to col­lect. It has also been es­ti­mated that the levy will cost the sec­tor 6,174 jobs.

Al­though the tax will not ex­ceed 4 euros per room per night, it will still cre­ate pres­sure on fi­nal prices if passed on to cus­tomers or in­crease cor­po­rate costs if ab­sorbed by the ho­tels. In a global mar­ket where the in­ter­net al­lows for in­stant price com­par­isons, ev­ery euro makes a dif­fer­ence, ac­cord­ing to sec­tor of­fi­cials.

The head of the cham­ber, Gior­gos Tsakiris, has called on the govern­ment to re­vise its de­ci­sion for the levy, brand­ing it “de­struc­tive,” while the pres­i­dent of the Greek Tourism Con­fed­er­a­tion (SETE), Yian­nis Ret­sos, warned that the geopo­lit­i­cal con­junc­ture will not al­ways be fa­vor­able and it may then “be too late” for changes.

The stay­over levy may cost the tourism sec­tor 435 mil­lion euros in the medium term.

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