The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) is calling on the government to introduce measures that will support enterprises reliant on tourism from the Russian market and find ways to compensate for losses as a result of the war in Ukraine.
In a letter to government officials, including Finance Minister Christos Staikouras and Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, SETE is requesting that tourism operations doing business with Russia be allowed to suspend tax and insurance obligations (current and past installments); be given the option to suspend up to two-thirds of employment contracts (put staff on furlough); and suspend deadlines for the payment of issuance securities.
Companies are eligible for support provided 55 percent of total turnover recorded in 2019 was generated from the Russian or neighboring markets. Though the Russian market is not a main source market, in pre-pandemic 2019, some 530,000 travelers from Russia visited Greece.
“As a result of the war in Ukraine, planning for these operations has been completely overturned. Russian and Ukrainian tourists are not expected to come to Greece this year, while we do not know what will happen to tourists coming from other countries,” said SETE.
“Given that it is objectively impossible shortly before the start of the tourist season for these companies to be able to fill the gap created by entering into new partnerships with other tourist markets, [these companies] should be supported in the near future, so that they can remain in operation and retain jobs.”