Greece plans tax hike on foreign visitors

Event organisers and delegates could be forced to foot the bill for Greece’s debt crisis.

Greece’s anti-austerity government plans to charge foreign visitors18 per cent tax on hotels and restaurants to stave off bankruptcy.

According to a report in The Times, tax could rise to 18 per cent from 13 per cent on restaurant bills, while tax on hotels could almost triple from the current 6.5 per cent rate.

We completely understand the need for our government to close a deal with the country’s lenders
But Efi Koudeli, general manager at the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, told CMW: “First of all, efforts are made so that the VAT cost to be smaller than those reported by Times.  Indeed, any imposition of increased VAT in Greek tourist package might create some problems in the market. However we do not believe that in the long run, this additional tax will not be mitigated in the tourism market.”

A spokesperson for the Confederation of Greece Tourism told reporters: “We completely understand the need for our government to close a deal with the country’s lenders and we are more than ready to support the Greek economy in all ways possible.”

“However, to the extent that it is necessary to restructure and simplify VAT rates in Greece, the VAT rate for hotel and restaurant services should, ideally, be set at a uniform rate of approximately eight per cent, or even lower in order to stay competitive and to compensate for the extremely high borrowing costs.”

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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