Tourists Now Have To Pay A “Climate Crisis Resilience Fee” In Greece, Starting At €0.50

Explore the delicate balance between tourism growth and environmental sustainability in Greece.

by Mallika Khurana
Tourists Now Have To Pay A “Climate Crisis Resilience Fee” In Greece, Starting At €0.50

In the scorching summer of 2023, the idyllic Greek island of Rhodes faced the wrath of devastating wildfires. This incident forced the evacuation of thousands, disrupting the height of the travel season. It prompted concerns about the impact on its crucial tourism sector, which sustains most of the island’s economy. It also contributes significantly to Greece’s overall financial landscape. Acknowledging the escalating impact of climate change on its tourism-dependent economy, Greece introduced a novel approach to funding future disaster relief efforts. The “climate crisis resilience fee,” a new tax for tourists, replaces the previous hotel tax.

Tourists To Pay ‘Climate Crisis Resilience Fee’ In Greece

climate crisis resilience fee
Photo Credits: Canva

The wildfires weren’t isolated incidents, as heatwaves and blazes afflicted other Mediterranean destinations as well. It led to a combined loss of over 1,350 square kilometres across Greece, Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia. According to Hindustan Times, European Union estimates indicated that 120,000 people were affected in late July, while Greece braced for even more extreme heat in the subsequent days.

While overall tourism to Greece managed to weather the challenges, specific regions faced a downturn due to the fires.  As the year unfolded, another natural calamity struck Greece – massive flooding in central areas triggered by Storm Daniel in early September 2023.  To deal with the severe impact of these disasters on tourism, a new tax has been introduced. 

The tax amount varies based on hotel category and time of year, with tourists expected to contribute the following per room and night:

  • 5-star: €10 ($10.93) from March to October, €4 ($4.37) from November to February
  • 4-star: €7 ($7.65) from March to October, €3 ($3.28) from November to February
  • 3-star: €3 ($3.28) from March to October, €1.50 ($1.64) from November to February
  • 1-2 star, Short-term rentals: €1.50 ($1.64) from March to October, €0.50 ($0.55) from November to February

As per Hindustan Times reports, this strategic move aims to leverage the tourism boom to financially support Greece against future climate-related disasters.

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A Financial Shield Against Nature’s Wrath

greece tourism
Photo Credits: Canva

Tourism has been the backbone of Greece’s economic recovery since emerging from a debt crisis in 2018. Accounting for approximately a quarter of the country’s GDP, the sector achieved a record high in 2023. It attracted 22.65 million visitors from January to August, despite the challenges posed by heatwaves and wildfires. However, critics caution against the risks of “overtourism” on certain Greek islands and the potential for exorbitant prices in popular destinations. 

The Greek government’s proactive approach to the climate crisis resilience fee reflects a commitment to ensuring the sustainability of its vital tourism sector amid the evolving challenges of a changing climate.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva

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