Only a few firms have made attempts to explore renewable energy resources

In spite of the growing demand for tapping renewable energy resources in tourism and hospitality sectors, only a few firms have taken the lead in going green.

With the World Tourism Day being celebrated on Thursday with the theme ‘Tourism and sustainable energy: powering sustainable development’, a reality check reveals that but for installing solar water heaters, most firms have nothing to boast when it comes to exploring sustainable energy sources.

“Sustainable energy practices never get a priority as the focus is on food, hospitality, and ambience, among others. Energy being a support service does not get any attention even at the conceptualising stage,” Karnataka Tourism Forum president C.B. Ramkumar told The Hindu. “The energy generated by tapping natural resources in the vicinity is not even added to balance sheet,” he said.

Mr. Ramkumar’s Our Native Village, a 22-room property in Bangalore, generates 70 per cent of the energy needs from solar panels, biogas and windmills. “My dependence on the grid is negligible and the monthly electricity bill is just around Rs. 15,000.”

He, however, pointed out that the Tourism Department could persuade the industry to adopt sustainable energy practices by offering tax breaks as the capital expenditure on them was high. “The cost of energy infrastructure gets doubled for renewable energy for which some sops should be offered. On a long run, with minimal maintenance, renewable energy offers cost effective solutions,” he added.

A senior Tourism Department official acknowledged the problem and said the department did not have any policy either to create awareness or popularise renewable energy resources. “Their implementation is far too negligible though benefits are high,” he said.

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