ADVOCATING FOR LEGISLATION TO TAX SHORT-TERM PROPERTY RENTALS.
The ClientA major institutional actor in the tourism sector.
The EnvironmentShort term property rentals (STR) flourished, increasing their market share to the detriment of Greek hotels. Positive media coverage of this new activity, positioned it as a great new way to add to the family budget for the crisis-hit Greeks. As a result, the then government desisted from regulating the STR market, in order to avoid any potential political cost.
The ObjectiveTo raise targeted awareness on the negative economic and social repercussions of the STR activity, in order to push for the introduction of legislation for its taxation, as a first step to establishing a level playing field with the hotel industry.
Mobilized network to establish a multi-layer system of intelligence gathering, including holding regular exploratory meetings with key targets.ADVISE
- Prepared a full stakeholder map.
- Created detailed profiles of all engagement targets, tracking relationship dynamics. perceptions, motives and positions, thus equipping the Client for stakeholder meetings.
- Designed a comprehensive public affairs strategic program, including tactics, key messages, a detailed timetable of actions etc.
- Drafted all advocacy material, including several letters, position papers and non-papers etc.
Designed a full scale Thought Leadership plan to ignite and/or spearhead public dialogue on the issue at stake, paving the way for successful engagement, including the:
- Commissioning two major studies/reports to leading consulting firms, measuring the size of the STR market and its nega- tives repercussions on state tax and social security revenues, for the first time ever, in order to provide evidence-based argu- ments to the policy-makers.
- Organization of a high-level policy forum on the topic, with the participation of the competent Minister, as well as interna- tional speakers.
- Coordination of Client’s participation in all major industry and economic conferences, in order to continuously present its positions and raise awareness on the issue at stake.
- Prepared and participated on behalf of or alongside the Client in several meetings with policy-makers and public servants across the ladder, presenting relevant data, educating them on the negative repercussions of STR and advocating for rele- vant regulation.
- Met with the Troika representatives in Greece to secure their support and request that they exert pressure to the govern- ment on the issue.
- Participated on behalf of or alongside the Client in several stakeholder meetings with professional and citizen groups af- fected by the unregulated STR phenomenon (i.e. student groups, law enforcement officer and armed forces member unions, teacher unions etc.) in an attempt to rally support for the cause, as well as position the issue not as a hotelier vs STR dispute.
- Organized press conferences for the presentation of the aforementioned studies/reports.
- Coordinated and participated in several relevant media briefings, and prepared all relevant briefing material.
- Designed and implemented a concrete publicity plan ensuring that the Client was regularly present on all major traditional and digital media and drafted all relevant interviews, op-eds etc.
- Developed content for regular postings on the Client’s website and social media channels.
- Produced an animated video, that was uploaded in all of the Client’s own communication channels, depicting the negative aspects of STR in a story-telling manner.
The Results(1) Relevant legislation introducing a taxation scheme for STR for the first time was passed. (Article 111 of Law 4446/2016).
(2) The article was amended by Articles 83-84 of Law 4472/2017, which even today provide the basic framework for the regulation and taxation of the STR activity.