Skift Take

Greece is counting on its tourism boom to financially support future disaster relief efforts.

Greece has introduced a new tax for tourists this year. Called a “climate crisis resilience fee,” it replaces the previous hotel tax.

The tax amount varies by hotel category and time of the year. Tourists will pay the following per room and night, according to the Greek government:

CategoryMarch to OctoberNovember to February
5-star€10 ($10.93)€4 ($4.37)
4-star€7 ($7.65)€3 ($3.28)
3-star€3 ($3.28)€1.50 ($1.64)
1-2 star, Short-term rentals€1.50 ($1.64)€0.50 ($0.55)
Source: Gazette of the Government of the Greek Republic

Last summer, Greece experienced a number of historic natural disasters. Record rainfall caused a massive flood that destroyed homes, bridges, roads, livestock and crops and left at least 17 dead. A massive heat wave caused wildfires that destroyed over 1,500 square kilometers and left 20 people dead.

The natural disasters also impacted the tourist experience in Greece. Heatwaves, wildfires and floods “dominated” the destination’s negative reviews, according to research by the Institute of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises.

The disasters caused some tour operators to cut trips. TUI canceled its tours on Greece’s Rhodes because of the wildfires.

Greece was one of the most popular destinations in Europe this year. Between January and September, international arrivals in Greece were up 7% from 2019, according to the European Travel Commission

Climate Change Alters Tourist Booking Patterns in Europe

Greece’s new tax comes as traveler booking patterns change to avoid extreme weather, a 2024 Skift megatrend.

This past summer, tourists in Europe experienced an uncomfortable heatwave, said Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton at Skift Global Forum in September. The heatwave had gotten so bad that Intrepid’s bookings in the shoulder season are up for 2024.

“People that have the flexibility, that can travel, bookings are up 88% into April and May for Europe next year,” said Thornton. “You’re going to start to see more people move away from those peak periods.“

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Tags: climate change, greece, sustainability, tourism, tourist tax

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