Greek hoteliers request tax equality with sharing accommodation options

Tourism represents 18.63 percent of the Greek economy’s GDP, according to a report conducted by Grant Thornton on behalf of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and published on Tuesday.

The report, titled “The tax-paying ability of hotels and potential use of the sharing economy for the tax normalization of the industry”, shows that, according to 2016 data, hotels contribute about 10 percent of the economy’s GDP and 6.5 percent of the country’s employment.

Speaking at an event organized by the Chamber, sector representatives noted the need for tax equality between hotels and short-term lodging options (such as Airbnb) and the prospect of a reduction in tax burdens, as a way to increase of state revenues. According to the report, equality in taxation could generate revenues of at least 341 million euros per year, which is not currently the case due to tax evasion.

“The direct and indirect contribution of Greek hotels to tourism revenues will exceed 17 billion euros this year, which corresponds to 52 percent of the national tourist revenue. Greek tourism contributes, directly and indirectly, 23.4 percent to the country’s total employment,” the head of the Chamber Giorgos Tsakiris said at the event.

“At the same time, however, Greece is not in any of the top 5 positions of our 5 major tourist markets in terms of preference. Furthermore, the competitiveness of Greek tourism places our country in the 24th place, with Spain in the 1st and France in the 2nd,” he added.