The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) has called on the Greek government to implement a series of COVID-19 related emergency measures in two phases in order to safeguard the tourism sector, keep businesses afloat, and avoid an increase in unemployment.
At the top of the list of measures requested by SETE are suspending loan payments and social insurance contributions, reducing taxation on accommodation to 6 percent and to 13 percent in the F&B sector in the 1 July 2020-31 December 2020 period, and VAT to 13 percent on transport for the same period. SETE is also calling for additional promotional actions for Greek tourism in light of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
SETE also proposes the following measures for immediate implementation, including suspending current tax obligations; reducing the number of working days for hotel staff for unemployment benefits eligibility; deferring or reducing by at least 50 percent advance income tax duties for businesses, and retaining airline levies paid by passengers at current levels until 31 May 2020. SETE added this:
“At this stage, it is clear that by the end of May at least, the negative climate will grow. We expect things to balance out after that, and in the case of a positive scenario, we hope for a rebound in the second half of the year.”
The Covid-19 Pandemic emergency measures apply to all tourism-related businesses including accommodation facilities, tourist agencies, exhibition and conference organizers, tour bus companies, airlines, airports, ground handling companies, car hire companies, cruise sector, ports, and outdoor activities providers.