'Sustainable growth vital for tourism sector'
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has identified significant
potential for Sri Lankan hotels to use energy, water and other resources
more efficiently and manage waste better, to curb carbon emissions and
reduce operating costs.
The study, 'Ensuring Sustainability in Sri Lanka's Growing Hotel
Industry', identified barriers faced by the industry in implementing
resource efficiency measures and provided suggestions on different
initiatives that could be applied.
It indicated, for example, how Sri Lanka's existing three to five
star hotels could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 12,000 tons
per annum if measures recommended in the report are implemented.
"Sri Lanka's hotel industry consumes a large amount of electricity
and there is significant potential for energy efficiency improvements in
this sector," said Additional General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity
Board, Bandula Tilakasena. "If hotels shift certain energy intensive
activities to off-peak hours, costs can be reduced substantially."
With over 68 star class hotels under construction to cater to Sri
Lanka's rapidly increasing tourist arrivals, the report predicts that
the tourism industry's energy requirements will increase three-fold by
2016. This growth will result in a steep increase in the amount of
carbon released into the atmosphere. "Sri Lanka's tourism sector needs
to grow in a sustainable manner through measures that help protect the
environment, and also increase profitability," said IFC Country Manager
for Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, Adam Sack. "It will take collaborative
efforts from the government, the industry, and development institutions
to make a difference."