INVEST IN GREEK TOURISM
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Greece welcomed 12.3 million tourists in 2000 and more than 14 million in 2001. The tourism industry accounts for 16.3% of the country's GDP and represents its most important service industry. Foreign revenue from the tourism sector increased 5.8% in 2000. Since the 1960's Greece has continuously been a popular tourist destination. It combines a stunning landscape, temperate climate, clean waters, Mediterranean hospitality and a cultural history of 3,000 years. Today, it ranks 15th amongst the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Greece is committed to improving its tourism product, and as such is offering attractive incentives for new tourism projects, as well as for upgrading.
Moreover, with low operating costs and a substantial incentives package Greece
now boasts a competitive business climate.
The Investment Incentives Law 2601/98 outlines the legal framework for the tourism sector. These incentives take the form of either cash grants of up to 45% of eligible expenses depending on the area in which the investment is located and depending on what kind of investment, or of tax allowances ranging from 40%-100%. In both cases an interest subsidy of up to 45% of the long-term loan used for the financing of the investment cost is also provided.
Investors seeking incentives under L.2601/98 should apply to the Ministry of National Economy. The approval of the application takes up to three months. The disbursement of the cash grant is in three stages; 60% (in two installments) during construction, 20% upon completion of construction and 20% upon operation. The table on the following page provides an outline of the incentives.