EU Directive Threatens Tourism Investments in Greece

Boheme Suites Hotel in MykonosThe Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Greece’s main tourism body, has voiced concern over a European directive that limits subsidies and tax breaks for tourism investments as the GTP website reported.

The president of SETE, Andreas Andreadis, at a press conference said that the EU Directive 651 on competition contains restrictions and limitations on the provision of investment subsidies for tourism purposes.

Andreadis stressed that without incentives, businesses would be discouraged to launch new tourism investments or even modernize existing hotel resorts. ETE’s 2014 arrival forecast for Greece has risen to 19.5 million arrivals, which was originally the association’s target for 2018.

According to SETE, if the figure is achieved this year and the association is three years ahead of its plan, more investments must be made in Greece to support the rapid development of tourism.

According to Andreadis, by 2021 Greece will need 150,000 beds in new four or five-star hotels and an additional 100,000 beds in upgraded units to satisfy the future demand for beds in the country.

SETE’s president added that without any form of incentive, investment plans of the new National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) will not go there will be no interest from investors.

Reports said the Greek Development Ministry is already making an effort to exclude Greece from EU Directive 651 for investments to move forward and unemployment to drop.