Greece offers cheaper flights as it cuts taxes on transportation

Greece, which has been widely praised for its swift response to the pandemic and thus saw relatively low infection rates, originally said it would welcome back tourists on July 1, but moved that date up to June 15, when international flights to Athens and Thessaloniki are expected to resume. Currently, international flights are going into Athens only, with mandatory testing and quarantine in place for all arrivals. Until June 14, “non-EU citizens are banned from entering Greece for non-essential travel, which includes tourism,” with some exceptions, according to the US Embassy & Consulate in Greece, according to Insider.

Greece is among the growing number of countries offering tourists an incentive to visit, with the nation’s prime minister announcing that taxes on transportation — including flights to the country — will be reduced, Insider wrote.

As the country sees a lower risk of coronavirus, it is cutting the Value Added Tax (VAT) or Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all modes of transport from 24% to 13%. That means flights coming into the country, as well as its public transport and subsequent flights around Greece, will be cheaper, Metro reported.

Tourism is the main engine of the Greek economy, accounting for nearly 20% of the country’s gross domestic product and one in four jobs. Having already suffered a decade of financial troubles, Greece desperately needs to restore its main income source. The measures announced by the Greek government are both long-term and seasonal, covering the summer months that account for most of the tourism revenue. Tax reductions for the travel and hospitality sector are being introduced while worker salaries, in the tourism, catering and industrial sectors will be subsidized through EU mechanisms. According to the Greek Tourism Ministry, more than 33 million tourists visited the country last year. Forecasts for the summer in early 2020 had been indicating another record year, CNN Travel wrote.

Check out the article about 7 Best Places to Visit in Greece

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