Greece attempts to tackle lost hotel revenue
As Greece continues to come under increasing pressure to reduce its national debt, the government is to instigate a tax which will target individuals renting their property to tourists. At the same time this should help combat tax revenues lost from a dwindling hotel industry, as more and more people look to take advantage of cheap rates offered from services such as Airbnb.
The proposed tax will range between three and five percent, and will be applied to each booking taken. This process is set to be voted on in the coming months, and ministers hope that once passed will be implemented swiftly.
Anyone currently using as well as others looking to use their spare rooms in the future will have to register their property before the listings can be made live. The new tax is something the government hopes will also reduce tax evasion, illegal trading and corruption.
The effect of these private rooms is hard to ignore. There are over 40,000 rooms currently advertised across Greece, creating real pressure on the tourism industry. Hotels are one of the largest employers in Greece, as the thriving tourism industry continues to see growth with cheap airfares and a growing global tourism populous. As the hotels begin to lose a sizable chunk of that market, they are left with little choice other than to reduce costs.
Greece isn’t the first country to try and claw back some of this lost tax revenue. Countries such as Spain and Italy have also looked at imposing similar strategies, in an attempt to mitigate the effect private rooms is having on house and rental prices for local people. It’s clear these new taxes are likely to become mainstream in the near future.