While sustainable growth is a matter of first priority for the private sector of tourism and Greek hotels, a “big “hole” in the financing of small and medium-sized hotel companies from the public sector is holding back the path towards the “green” transformation of Greek tourism.

Large companies in the hotel industry due to capital have a greater opportunity to carve out a path of sustainable development, but the same is not the case for the thousands of small and medium-sized hotel companies.

No funding

The problem is not small and concerns thousands of businesses. According to the data of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, of the 10,087 hotels in the country, 4,600 are one and two star hotels, while including the three star hotels (2,903) they reach 7,500 or almost 70% of all Greek hotels, which are, however, excluded from a series of financing actions.

What the operators say

The difficulty of adapting to the sustainable development of small and medium-sized units of Greek tourism was recently pointed out by the former president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises-SETE, Mr. Yannis Retsos, and he underlined the need for small neighboring units to cooperate wherever possible. But the vice-president of SETE, Mr. Giorgos Vernikos, speaking yesterday at the presentation of the INSETE study “Proposals for the promotion of sustainable tourism in Greece” underlined the difficulties faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in order to create a sustainable development that goes through and through the green their transformation.

And the President of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers, Mr. Yiannis Hatzis, speaking at the meeting of the presidents of the country’s hotel associations, emphasized that “While we are talking about the climate crisis, the lowest category hotels are still excluded from the modernization and energy upgrade programs. We are discussing sustainable and balanced development and after three years have passed since the relevant announcements, the SAVE program has not been issued.”

One and two star hotels

The hole in funding is recognized by all hotel operators. One- and two-star hotels are exempt from the development law and as the general director of SETE think tank – INSETE, Mr. Ilias Kikilias, answered a related question of ot.gr, SETE’s position is to join.

In addition, in a memorandum of POX to the Minister of Tourism Olga Kefalogianni, it is pointed out that 1, 2 and 3 star hotels were excluded at the last minute from the possibility of joining the “Green Transformation of SMEs” Action. Every modernization intervention in hotel facilities now inevitably goes through the green transformation, explains Greek Hoteliers Federation-POX and adds that this specific action was therefore of great importance for the viability of hotel businesses and even more so for the smaller category of hotel accommodations, which were excluded from this . A corresponding program aimed at the hotel industry should be issued immediately and designed taking into account its particularities, such as the problem with the SMEs we mentioned above, so that as many companies as possible can join it.


POX also emphasizes that the proclamation of EXOIKONOMO II should be made public immediately, so that hotel companies can upgrade their facilities energy-wise – there is a need for prior consultation in relation to eligible costs, so that companies can make the most of it possible degree..

POX is also asking for facilitation – motivation for businesses to produce the energy they consume themselves (net – metering) through photovoltaic systems. Accordingly, it is deemed necessary: a. to immediately strengthen the existing infrastructure of the network so that it can serve the greater loads that will be created, and b. to enable businesses to install photovoltaic systems in a space that is not adjacent to their facilities.

The cutter

Finally, regarding the NSRF that due to the mandatory criterion of Annual Work Units (AWU), many small family businesses, especially those that operate seasonally, are excluded from the NSRF and are deprived of the possibility of modernization. For the specific category of businesses, the possibility of deviating from the specific criterion should be foreseen. Otherwise, we propose, says POX, either to be counted in the AWUs and the self-employed or the AWUs to be calculated taking seasonality into account.

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