Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Konrad Mizzi today launched a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme with MHRA, which aims to assist hoteliers to invest in energy efficiency projects.
The Minister explained that this scheme will provide the tools for hotels to monitor their own consumption and identify cost effective measures, which could be implemented, as well as options to finance these measures. He mentioned that Government will also be rewarding hotels implementing energy efficiency measures through a dedicated fund.
Minister Mizzi also claimed that for the scheme’s first year of operation, the Government and MHRA will also seek to implement a White certificate award scheme, together with a web-based hotel energy efficiency benchmarking application.
Konrad Mizzi also claimed that through this PPP, Government will also be supporting hoteliers to carry out energy audits.
Minister Konrad Mizzi explained that this scheme will aim to position the hotel sector in Malta as the leader in energy efficiency across the European region. He concluded by saying that this scheme is part of Government’s efforts to implement its energy roadmap to ensure sustainability, competitiveness, and affordability, the three main pillars which reflect the European Union’s energy strategy.
Minister Mizzi said that Malta has, in 2014, developed a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which it has also submitted to the European Commission as part of its obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive. This plan covers all sectors of the economy, and places significant emphases on demand side measures. Malta has committed to a number of measures which it plans to implement before 2020 to achieve a 27% primary energy savings.
These measures include:
· grants for roof insulation and double glazing for the residential sector;
· grant schemes for the purchase of electric vehicles and scrappage schemes for the transport sector;
· tax credit scheme to support investment in energy efficiency projects in industry, and
· free energy audits for micro and small enterprises.
During the launch of a project aimed at placing Maltese hotels at the forefront of Energy Efficiency within the Mediterranean at the fourth edition of the Mediterranean Tourism Forum, entitled ‘Mediterranean Hospitality of Tomorrow’, Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis discussed the future of tourism and hospitality within our region, and the importance of Malta’s tourism industry as the islands’ key economic pillar.
Planning for sustainable tourism is fundamental in coping with the challenges of modern tourism, minimise any negative impact, and ensure long-term returns for the destination. The Minister explained that all this is done with a view of enabling multiple re-use of scarce resources by future generations.
Investment in greener and sustainable tourism can, in itself, also be a means of creating new jobs,whilst safeguarding the environment. Taken within the context of increased tourism flows, investment in ‘green’ tourism should lead to significant resource conservation through improved efficiencies, said the Minister for Tourism.
Minister Zammit Lewis emphasized that during the last four years, Government has implemented a series of measures which have further enhanced the competitiveness and the sustainability of tourism in Malta. This has ensured that as from 2014, Malta’s economic sectors – including tourism – started benefitting from considerably more cost-effective water and energy tariffs.
Such savings by industry players have amounted to around €50 million in disposable capital. This has been reinvested in their respective products. One is pleased to note that the private sector has responded positively, through millions of euros worth of investments in refurbishment and new tourism projects.
Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis stated that the launch of an innovative project involving the implementation of a Reward Scheme is another example of best practice which can be adopted by other countries in the region. He noted that sharing experiences on this level, is another element of the effective collaboration between Mediterranean destinations towards obtaining four major objectives:
· strengthening the competitiveness of the region’s tourism offer;
· enhancing the ‘greening’ of our industry;
· ensuring the preservation of one of the world’s major tourism resources (the Mediterranean region);
· and ultimately, to ensure a strong and sustainable future for tourism in the Mediterranean region.
During his concluding remarks, the Minister for Tourism commended the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association for leading this initiative, which will benefit not only its members, but also Malta and Gozo’s touristic offerings. The Minister also acknowledged Minister Konrad Mizzi’s role in this process, who was also instrumental in making this initiative happen.