Amendment Seeks to Resolve Hotel Industry Contract Issues

Parliament to Amend Hotel Operations and Licensing Laws

In a decisive move to rectify the unintended consequences of prior legislation, Parliament is gearing up to introduce a pivotal amendment that could reshape the landscape of the hotel industry. The startling revelation that approximately 93% of local hotels have been rendered technically illegal due to recent legislative actions has prompted swift governmental action.

The proposed amendment aims to address issues that have emerged since the March law amendment, which has notably disrupted the hotel industry’s dealings with foreign tour operators and insurance companies. The bill, earmarked for debate in the Plenary Session on Thursday, has already been examined by the Parliament’s Trade Committee, where Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumis, signaled his endorsement.

The focus of the amendment is on Article 18 of the Law on the Establishment and Operation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations. It zeroes in on the transitional period, allowing hotels and tourist accommodations to continue operations even if they have yet to comply with the basic law’s stipulations. A significant provision within the proposed changes is that hotels can bypass operational conditions if they submit architectural plans, including evacuation and fire protection measures, to the Ministry of Tourism by the end of 2024. These submissions must be accompanied by the required urban planning permissions or building permits.

This legislative initiative is a follow-up to the 2019 laws that provided existing hotels a five-year window to align with regulations and obtain operating licenses—a goal that remains unmet for many. The government’s bid to push this deadline further has evolved from a bill into a necessity for amendments, which are slated for discussion and potential ratification next Thursday.

Deputy Minister Koumis, in a statement to the press following today’s session, cited the surge in hotel expansions and new projects as a primary cause for licensing delays. These expansions have been partly spurred by urban planning incentives introduced in 2013. Koumis also sought to allay safety concerns, asserting that the proposed extension would fortify rather than weaken existing safety measures.

Approximately 93% of local hotels have been rendered technically illegal due to recent legislative actions

Why are 93% of local hotels now illegal due to new laws?

Recent legislation has redefined hospitality standards, rendering 93% of local hotels non-compliant with updated safety, accessibility, or environmental regulations.

Can local hotels adjust to the new laws by 2024?

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