The government of Barbados is strategizing on ways to reduce energy costs in the hotel industry via the implementation of various energy saving initiatives. This idea was sparked by minister of Finance, Cristopher Sinckler at the launch of Williams Evergreen Limited; a company whose primary focus is in the use of renewable energy for electricity generation.
“You would have heard recently from the President of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association about the difficulties local hoteliers are experiencing, predominantly because of high energy prices. The Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and myself, met with the hoteliers only recently to hear of their plight and to hear of the difficulties which they have encountered and are encountering in relation to the cost associated with energy bills, some of which could be startling when you hear of them.”
Mr.Sinckler assured the public that discussions were on on-going between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Tourism on initiatives aimed at aiding hoteliers, restaurants and other tourism based enterprises of rising energy prices. This proposal is to be sent shortly to parliament for approval.
“Ultimately we would like, and I believe in the presentation of the Financial Statements and Budgetary Proposals we spoke to the creation of a special fund designed to promote energy efficiency and hotel refurbishment for our hotel properties to make them more competitive in the market place. Ultimately we would like them and we would encourage them and incentivise them to take advantage of alternative energy sources,” stated Mr.Sinckler who also reflected on the island’s dependence on fossil fuels.
In the interim, the Ministries of Energy, Finance and Tourism are collectively working on establishing a second phase of the Tourism Assistance Fund (Turf 2) which is intended to assist the hotels most negatively impacted by increased energy prices so that they are able to make it through the upcoming winter season financially. The original Tourism Assistance Fund (Turf) arose in the midst of the recession in order to help local hoteliers. Mr.Sinckler noted that Turf 2 will be coming soon.