600 million euros lost due illegal Greek tourism
Peer-to-peer property rental is expected to expand significantly in the coming season as the government is set to lump home rentals together with tourism accommodation in terms of tax status.
The president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Giorgos Tsakiris, expressed concern during the chamber’s first regional meeting that took place on Rhodes recently about the ballooning of illegal peer-to-peer property rental.
He cited a recent Grant Thornton study, commissioned by the chamber, which showed that airbnb-style rentals last year accounted for 20 million overnight stays in Greece, robbing the country of 15,000 legal jobs and absorbing 1.5 billion euros in tourism revenues while generating tax evasion of 400 million euros.
This year, Tsakiris estimated, the above figures will have grown by 30 to 50 percent, while in 2025 they will be on a par with legitimate tourism accommodation, which will have shrunk considerably.
Legal hoteliers’ main line of defense is highlighting the problems and putting pressure on the state to introduce rules for peer-to-peer property rentals, along with monitoring and taxing those who profit from them, as well as ensuring that hoteliers and traditional operators of rooms for rent for tourists advertise the quality of their product. ■