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Hotel guests in Greece charged new stayover levy

Hotel guests in Greece charged new stayover levy

ATHENS: A new stayover levy awaits guests at hotels and rooms to let across Greece from Jan. 1, as part of bailout measures aimed to increase revenue and overcome the debt crisis.

levy, which ranges from 50 cents to 4 euros (60 cents to 4.8 U.S. dollars) per room, will burden guests and not hoteliers, according to the Greek Finance Ministry. Camping sites, youth hostels and traditional tourism accommodation businesses will be exempt, according to the law which was voted on in 2016. Recession-hit hoteliers, who in previous months said they could not absorb the new charge, remained concerned on Wednesday regarding its potential impact on the Greek tourism industry. The imposition of the levy may harm the momentum of Greek tourism and Greek economy, the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers warned. Addressing the parliament earlier this week, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said that 2017 closed with an estimated 9 percent increase in tourism arrivals (nearly 30 million visitors) and a new record in revenues was expected.