Tourism Min Kountoura says tourists to Greece could exceed 35 mln in 2020

The government will reconsider the overnight-stay tax for hotels and tourist accommodation, provided that the country’s budgetary figures allow it, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said in an interview on Tuesday with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM.

“I was not content when the tax was imposed. I tried to protect the tourism sector as any minister would do. We have raised the issue with both the finance minister and the prime minister and they have pledged to reconsider it, provided that the country’s budgetary figures allow it,” she said.

Commenting on the fact that the USA will be the honoured country at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), she said that pre-bookings for 2018 have already begun.

Kountoura underlined that 2017 had started on a positive note, adding that occupancy rates reached 90 percent, overnight stays had significantly increased and tourists from new, high-budget markets had visited Greece and boosted revenues.

“If we exceed 30 million tourists in 2018, it is possible that by 2020, combined with the investments being made, we will reach 35 million,” the Greek tourism minister stressed.