Travel and tourism is an important part of the Greek economy. Government bureaucracy has always been a challenge in Greece, not only for the tourism industry. A bill supporting entrepreneurship and resolving long-term issues in the travel tourism sector in Greece was brought forward by the Greek Tourism Ministry in Parliament. The title “Simplification of procedures to strengthen tourism entrepreneurship, the restructuring of the Greek National Tourism Organization (EOT) and other regulations.”
The bill also establishes seven categories of businesses related to tourism, namely: tourism housing facilities (including hotels and rooms); special tourism infrastructural facilities; travel agencies; car rental agencies; motorcycle, tricycle and large vehicles (over 50 cc) leasing agencies; businesses related to overland tourist transportation (TEOM); and shipping agents.
Among other provisions, the bill allows the extension of hydroplane services at popular tourist destinations; brings the jurisdiction of hotel classification under the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE); clarifies issues related to permits for hotel complexes, especially when multiple owners are involved; and speeds up the opening of furnished housing for leasing or sale.
Other provisions also clarify the legal status of housing undergoing structural changes or involving unregistered construction, especially in terms of building height, while another section introduces the institution of youth hostels at tourist destinations.