Greece’s tourism minister promised on Thursday Athens had no plans to curb all-inclusive resorts on its sun-drenched islands, after several publications suggested that new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had declared war on the popular packages.
“There won’t be any action against all-inclusive holidays,” Elena Kountoura , Minister for Tourism, from the right-wing Independent Greeks party in Tsipras’s coalition, told reporters.
“On the contrary, further upgrading the quality of these packages will boost and extend benefits in local markets and communities.”
‘All inclusive tourism brings in 2billion € a year and provides employment for a large number of people’ the minister added.
All-inclusive deals that limit added food and bar expenses for vacationers are especially popular among the millions of foreigners who flock to Greece’s islands each year. Tourism employs one in five Greeks and accounts for a fifth of the economy.
Some in the industry, including the head of Greece’s tourism association Andreas Andreadis, have proposed more flexible models which could tie local restaurants and bars into the package to spread the benefits.
“Mrs. Kountoura comes from the Independent Greeks party whose program is very tourism-friendly,” Andreadis told Reuters, noting the party had sought a cut in value-added tax for the industry.
“Syriza’s strategy is also in favour of low tax rates to encourage investment.” The only issue vexing the industry was the move to put asset sales on hold since some of them, such as airports and port services, stood to boost the tourist industry, he said. “Apart from the issue of privatizations, we are not worried,” he said.