ATHENS – Greece’s tourist sector, especially places serving food and beverages, will get much-needed relief in the aftermath of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic through a cut in the Value Added Tax (VAT) as the country also hopes visitors will come this year.
The VAT will be cut from 24 to 13 percent by the New Democracy government that also paid out 17.5 billion euros ($18.98 billion) in benefits to workers laid off and their businesses that were temporarily closed during a lockdown.
There will be a series of stimulus measures, said Kathimerini, as the government wants to help businesses that must meet strict hygiene protocols such as keeping tables further apart, limiting customers, and inside seating prohibited for now.
There would also be a cut in the overnight stay tax that hoteliers, short-term rentals, and others letting rooms said was a deterrent for tourists, especially with competition from other countries also needing visitors.
That tax ranged from 50 euro cents to 4 euros ($4.34) nightly depending on the type of lodging and had been a big revenue driver. VAT for hotels could also be cut from 13 to 6 percent to give them a boost too.
The VAT tax had been hiked by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which had vowed not to hike taxes but submitted to demands from international lenders but will also be cut from 24 to 13 percent for air and ferry boat transportation for the summer season.