Greek confederation criticises short-term rental concept for tourists

Greece: The Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises (SETKE) has criticised the concept of property owners in Greece renting out their homes to tourists for the short term.

According to SETKE, income taxation resulting from short-term rentals is considerably more favourable than that of rented rooms.

The confederation said in a statement: “By legalizing short-term rentals, the government is eliminating the sector of small and medium-sized tourist accommodation, which for decades has been the ‘backbone’ of the Greek tourism product.”

This follows the launch of the electronic registration system which allows property owners to display their homes for short-term accommodation on online sharing platforms like Airbnb.

It also said that tourist accommodation enterprises are facing up to a financial burden of 80-90 per cent of their annual turnover.

SETKE said: “In some other countries the short-term lease of properties may serve specific needs of the hospitality market, but in Greece these needs are covered in the best way through legitimate rooms to let businesses that are licensed by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

“In the Greek reality, the concept of short-term rentals has no substance or reason to exist.”

SETKE has also previously warned Greek Airbnb hosts to expect to pay heavy fines if they fail to enrol with the new electronic registry system.