According to the tax authorities in Greece, drones could be the new groundbreaking technology that would help the country tackle the tax evasion that is present in the most popular tourist hotspots around the country.
Drones Monitoring Payments Were First Deployed at the Island of Santorini
Believe it or not, surveillance drones were already deployed in the magical island of Santorini – where tourists were allegedly being taken on boat tours on the island’s sea-filled volcanic craters without issuing receipts while selling tickets to their customers.
The Independent Authority for Public Revenue on Monday said that the one-day operation last week involved surveillance of nine tour boats. The violations that the drones recorded were worth 25,000 Euros, which is approximately around $29,400 in lost revenue.
The drones, which are currently used to buzz over boats running day trips, may extend to more purposes. Knowing that the black economy is present everywhere around the country, Greek authorities are seriously considering the adoption of high-tech gadgets in order to stamp out the undeclared earnings.
Monitoring the Number of Passengers, Receipts and on-Site Inspections
Based on the data received by the drones monitoring the boats, authorities were able to establish the number of passengers and cross-referenced that number with the declared receipts and on-site inspections.
As an official at the Independent Authority for Public Revenue:
“We used the drones for the first time on an experimental basis to monitor how many tourists were on board.”
Number of Inspections in Touristic Hotspots Has Increased in 2018
In a response to a request from The Associated Press, the authority official didn’t provide further details. However, the tax authorities revealed that the number of inspections at holiday resorts over the summer has been increased.
According to the Bank of Greece, the country’s touristic spots were visited by more than 27 million tourists, which is up 10% from the previous year. This is a proof that Greece has one of the best touristic economies, one of the most visited countries in Europe and the world – and a country that has a strong initiative to make most of its popularity.
On a lighter note, here’s some totally unrelated drone footage of Santorini for your viewing pleasure.