Tourism has shown resilience, but it has given hard battles to manage to do so, the president of Thessaloniki Hotels Association Aristotelis Thomopoulos said in an article to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
Small and medium sized companies have been plagued by over-taxation and they are at risk of extinction. In a period of austerity and memoranda, tourism is probably the most important sector that supports Greece’s efforts for exiting the crisis.
He underlined that tourism needs realistic interventions that will boost competitiveness and support employment. It also needs measures that will keep it on growth course, which translates into lower taxes, higher investments, better services, higher liquidity and solutions to businesses’ bad loans.
The targets for hotel revenues will not be achieved this year despite the small increase in stays compared to last year. Thessaloniki remains the last European city compared to other ten similar EU destinations in terms of revenues per room, prices and availability, he noted.
Thomopoulos expressed cautious optimism for 2017. As he said, it is not enough to consider tourism the “growth engine” of the Greek economy, but it is important to support it with incentives, such as better infrastructure, higher quality means of transport, cleaner cities.