ATHENS – With 2017 showing another record year for tourism – spending figures aren’t in yet – Greek officials expect it will be busted again in 2018 as the country remains a hot place to go.
What could undercut those expectations is that the sector must remain competitive with nearby countries and others that lure visitors as well and as the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA has hit hotels with a special tax owners said will cut hard into their ability to draw people.
That was the assessment that came out of the 16th annual conference of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), which ended on Oct. 17.
“Although the contribution of enterprises and employees is leading the sector to high growth rates in the context of over taxation, and despite the apparent stabilization of the economy, insecurity remains for most in this economic and social environment,” SETE’s President Yiannis Retsos said in his speech, according to Kathimerini.
The consensus of the conference was that arrivals in 2018 could reach up to 30 million, compared to an estimated 28.5 million this year but that structural problems and a lack of enough high-quality hotels was a continuing problem.
Businesses said that the main problems are overtaxation (including the so-called Stay-Over Tax to apply as of 2018) and the lack of a tourism zoning plan, which would spur investments.