Greece has become almost legendary for the depth of its economic suffering following the financial crisis. No wonder then that homeowners are riding on a trend already established in other countries and advertising their properties online as holiday lets for a few months each year.
Greek's property market has experienced significant deterioration in recent years and the high taxation on real estate arising from the government's austerity measures has led to an increase in homeowners seeking to earn incomes from their properties.
A pattern that has emerged in other European tourist hotspots such as Spain and France is an increased demand among tourists for self-catering accommodation. As people continue to feel the post-recession bite, hotels are losing out to more competitive options such as private holiday lets in houses, apartments and even rooms in homes where the host family lives.
The market for this 'alternative' tourist product has grown to over €1bn in 2014 and Greek homeowners are anxious for a slice of the action. Around 60,000 households nationally have now registered their properties as holiday lets on a newly launched portal website, eliminating estate agents and intermediary fees.
Homeowners seeking to earn incomes from their properties
Properties listed range from ultra-luxurious homes in the northern suburbs of Attica to small apartments in Athens city centre and include rooms in budget areas for those tourists looking to holiday on a shoestring.
The portal website offers properties with prices ranging from €8 to €5,000 per night, available to book simply with a few clicks of the mouse. The new service provides tourists with a greater variety of accommodation alternatives, while owners are better able to meet their inflated real estate tax demands.
The website is expected to build upon this year's growth in Greek tourism and provide a platform for further expansion without significantly increasing investment in the sector. It represents a win/win situation for the Greek government and its homeowners, while boosting the appeal of this ever-popular holiday destination.