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Hoteliers call for State funding to implement eco-friendly measures

By 25th February 2020 March 24th, 2021 No Comments

Industry is reducing water and energy consumption ‘but can only go so far on its own’

Hoteliers have called on the incoming government to fund their efforts to develop more sustainable practices.

The hoteliers particularly want cash to help them eliminate single use plastics and introduce stronger waste reduction measures.

Hoteliers and guest house owners meeting in Galway for the annual conference of the 1,000-member Irish Hotels Federation said much progress had been made in terms of energy and water conservation. But the conference was told the hotel and guest house sector could only go so far on its own. Given the “substantial level of investment and expertise required”, the new government must “make additional funding available to help support and accelerate change.”

The conference heard that more than 90 per cent of hotels are planning sustainable, eco-friendly projects this year, with many members having already invested in measures such as new boilers and motion sensor lighting systems, as well as energy efficient kitchen appliances.

However, outgoing hotels federation Michael Lennon of the Westport Woods Hotel in Co Mayo said “access to grant support is proving an obstacle to greater progress on capital intensive projects”.

“While businesses are being actively encouraged to become more sustainable, sufficient funding is not being made available for grants and other supports. Hoteliers recognise the benefits that can be gained from improving sustainability. However, these measures can involve substantial capital expenditure that is beyond the capacity of many hotels, particularly those that are heavily reliant on seasonal business,” he said.

Recent changes such as replacing single use guest toiletries with larger dispensers – a move which hoteliers had feared would be off-putting to guests, were now being welcomed by consumers who were challenging the industry to see sustainability as an imperative, rather than an option, Mr Lennon added.


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