The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) warns that tourism revenue for this year is in danger of being at a much lower level despite an increase in tourist arrivals. The statement was made following an announcement by the Bank of Greece concerning the balance in the tourism sector that is 346 million euros lower than the same period last year.
The yield for 2016 will be lower than the initial targets at 25 million euros (and 2.5 million euros from cruises).
The three percent drop (104 million euros) in July could negatively impact annual results.
SETE pointed to different factors that are affecting Greek tourism:
•more than 10 percent increase to the tourist’s cart;
•consecutive VAT increases;
•the abolition of reduced VAT rates for Greek islands;
•the burdening of various sectors of tourism with new duties and taxes.
The tourist agencies pushed forth last-minute packages at reduced rates that, in combination with VAT absorption, influenced their price policy resulting in a reduction to their profits.
Furthermore, by leaving the accommodation leasing untouched, the state scraped off even more profits to the tourism sector. Greece, despite the geopolitical developments that should have pushed more tourists to Greece, did not promote itself as a safe tourist destination in comparison to the wider region despite the flow of refugees into the country.
SETE states that tourism will benefit the national economy if the following is applied:
•the finding of an effective solution to the refugee and migrant problems;
•investment in the promotion of the Greek tourist product;
•the return of tax rates at more competitive levels for tourism.