Short-term property leasing through online platforms like Airbnb is threatening not only the sustainability of small tourist lodgings, but the structure of Greek society itself, the Greek tourist accommodation business confederation (SETKE) warned on Tuesday.
The organization noted that it has been sounding the alarm over the phenomenon for the past three years, pointing to possible repercussions for the country’s tourist accommodation businesses and Greece’s tourist product as a whole. According to the confederation, there has already been an impact on the social cohesion of the nation.
After a slow start a few years ago, short-term renting has now snowballed and is threatening the structure of entire residential districts across the nation. The craze has transformed apartment buildings into tourist accommodations and altered the makeup of entire neighborhoods, according to SETKE.
The organization also noted that the lack of houses for rent has led to an exponential rise in rent prices, which threatens to shut out those from the poorer social strata.
SETKE also referred to the “low quality services” offered through such platforms, given that there was essentially no control over this sector. In their opinion, this “degrades the country’s overall tourist product and irrevocably harms the country’s image as tourist destination.”
The confederation demanded a change in current legislation so that anyone involved in providing tourist accommodation will be obliged to obtain the necessary operating license and report any rental earnings to the Greek tax office.