Is it the end for all-inclusive holidays in Greece?

Ruth Doherty
New Greece Prime Minister declares war on all-inclusive holidays
New Greece Prime Minister declares war on all-inclusive holidays

The new Prime Minister of Greece is looking to minimalise the all-inclusive holidays that thousands of British holidaymakers enjoy every year.

The country's new PM and leader of the Syria party, Alexis Tsiparis, says all-inclusive resorts restrict tourists to the hotel and are therefore damaging to small local businesses and tourist attractions.

According to the Metro, Mr Tsipras said: "We do not want to continue the current saturated model of intensive exploitation of tourism."

The paper adds that deals to sell public land to resort developers could be banned, and VAT rules are likely to be changed to hit existing holiday developments with higher taxes.

According to the NY Times, Syriza's plan to limit all-inclusive resorts has raised eyebrows as they accounted for around $2.3 billion of the tourism industry's projected $17.6 billion in revenue last year, and are offered to holidaymakers in competing destinations like Turkey, Egypt and Italy.

Michalis Kritsotakis, a Parliament member from Syriza who is responsible for the party's tourism policy, told the paper: "For the all-inclusive, our view, as well as that of the tourism industry, is that it's not the best thing.

"What we ask is a better quality of tourism, but the all-inclusive is not something that can be banned."

He suggested a new model that would lead to "a lesser number of all-inclusive packages in due time" or "the stopping of the negative effects that the all-inclusive packages have".

He continued: "The first thing that happens is that some tourists who use them do not have a good view of things because they are embedded in a hotel," adding that some tourists "didn't even know what part of the country they were at."

According to the Daily Mail, British tour operators that already have contracts with all-inclusive resorts say changes to the tax regime in Greece would be unlikely to affect visitors this year.

Thomas Cook told the paper: "The change in government has no impact on our operations in Greece. As a tour operator, we are there to support our customers, who can be confident they can book their holidays to Greece with us without any concern."

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