Green” hotels are becoming a marketing tool, a hotelier told reporters on Thursday.
Srilal Miththapala, now the project director of an EU funded programme to make hotels environmentally friendly, said that “green hotels” may be enforced by the consumer in the future. Giving an example from the garment industry, he said that previously they were regarded as sweat shops.
But when the buyers became insistent of labour standards, it were those garment industries that were willing to adjust that survived, while others had to close shop, he said.
Prema Cooray, Managing Director Switch-Asia, as the project is called, drawing another analogy about the importance of “green” hotels said that it’s similar to smoking, where 20 years ago smokers were a common sight, but now they have become a rarity.
Electricity and water conservation and waste management are the three pillars on which a Euro two million technical grant, covering over a four year period beginning from about 2010, targeting the leisure sector, is being implemented by Switch-Asia, operating through the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce .
“Greening becomes all the more important in the backdrop of the recent 40% electricity hike,” said Miththapala.
Some 45 hotels in Arugam Bay alone are involved in this “greening” programme, where the implementors said that the smaller hotels are far more receptive to the ”greening” concept than the larger ones.
Switch- Asia is also in the process of drawing up “green” regulations at the behest of the regulator, where it shall be compulsory for new hotels to adhere to those guidelines.
“It’s those simple things that make ‘greening” a reality, said Miththapala, like minimizing the opening and closing of the cool room doors, changing from incandescent bulbs to LED/CFL bulbs and giving the option to the guest to decide as to whether he/she wants the bed linen and towels changed or not, he said.