Visiting Greece in high season will get more expensive, Source: Depositphotos

Greece turns its tourist tax into a climate levy

Greece turns its tourist tax into a climate levy

Using destination appeal as a leverage to create a reserve fund for necessary environmental restoration

Starting this year, Greek hotels and accommodation services will begin applying a climate levy on visitors to the Mediterranean country. In a way, the new tourist fee is a rebranding of the already existing bed tax applied to people spending at least a night in paid accommodation. However, the difference is that this time around the amount paid will increase during the high tourist season when Greece gets the bulk of visitors swarming to its cities, coasts and islands.

The extra money generated this way will be used for a reserve fund, which will ensure that there is funding for reconstruction efforts following natural disasters. The number of destructive wildfires and floods that Greece has experienced in the past several years showed that the country is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and overtourism.

Variable tourist tax rates

The way the climate levy will be applied will depend not only on the seasonality but also on the type of accommodation.

Unlike the previous accommodation tax, the new tax will also apply to short-term rentals booked through online platforms. 

Those staying in apartments and one- and two-star hotels will now have to pay 1.5 euros, while guests in three-star hotels will pay 3 euros. Stays at four-star hotels will be charged 7 euros based on the new system, and the applicable fee for five-star luxury hotels will be 10 euros.

These rates represent a significant jump. Previously the bed tax for guests was 0.5, 1.5, 3.00 and 4.00 euros respectively for each of the categories. The old tax rates, however, will be maintained during the low season from November to February.

Guests will not see these taxes reflected in the prices of the hotels when they make their bookings online, however, they will have to be prepared to pay them on-site upon arrival.

The Greek government expects to generate up to 300 million euros through this levy hike. The country’s hoteliers’ association, however, expressed concerns that it will lessen the appeal of the country as a destination.



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