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Policy Insights - Environmental Management Practices in the Hotel Sector in Sri Lanka

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POLICYINSIGHTS 14 OCTOBER 2014 INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE HOTEL SECTOR IN SRI LANKA: EXPERIENCE FROM THE WESTERN PROVINCE The tourism industry in Sri Lanka has begun to witness a significant revival following the end of the conflict in May 2009. In order to reap the benefits of the tourism industry boom, the government has set targets to attract 2.5 million tourists by 2016. Several initiatives are in place to cater to the in
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  POLICY INSIGHTS 14 OCTOBER 2014 INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THEHOTEL SECTOR IN SRI LANKA EXPERIENCE FROM THE WESTERN PROVINCE The tourism industry in Sri Lanka hasbegun to witness a significant revivalfollowing the end of the conflict in May2009. In order to reap the benefits of thetourism industry boom, the governmenthas set targets to attract 2.5 milliontourists by 2016. Several initiatives are inplace to cater to the increasing demand forhotel accommodation to the targetednumber of tourist arrivals by means of newinvestments and expansions of existingaccommodation facilities. Accordingly, thenumber of hotels rooms is expected toincrease to 50, 000 by 2016. As at 2013,the total number of rooms in both hotelsand supplementary accommodation unitswas 23, 596 and the hotel rooms ac- KEY FINDINGS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS Large hotels seem to be better inadopting good environmentalmanagement practices. This calls forthe need for paying more attention tosmall hotels to improve their environ-mental management activities.Environmental management inhotels is significantly influenced bycertain hotel characteristics namely,location classification and chainaffiliation.Lack of commitment of top manage-ment, low priority, insufficientfinancial and human resources,perception and lack of technicalknowhow are also important con-straints faced by the hotels inadopting good environmentalmanagement practices.Barriers for adopting better environ-mental management practices vary withhotel categories, namely size category,chain affiliation, location etc. Thus itis important that future interventions inpromoting an environmentally sustain-able accommodation sector are welltargeted.Hotels adopt good environmentalmanagement practices when theyreceive awareness, training andcapacity building support. This impliesthe importance of effective awarenesscreation and capacity building onimproving environmental managementin the hotel industry.Space and structural constraints arecommon barriers for adopting goodenvironmental management practices.This indicates that environmentalmanagement should be considered atthe initial stage of designing hotels orduring refurbishments.counted for nearly 69 per cent of the totalnumber of rooms. However, beyond thenumerical targets for tourism industry, it isnot clear whether enough emphasis hasbeen paid to ensure the sustainabilityaspects of the industry. Accommodation sector is highly reliant onthe two natural resources; namely, ofwater and energy for its all operations. Italso generates waste. With the increasingnumber of tourist arrivals, there is atendency to use significant amounts ofenergy and water and generate highamounts of waste. Considering botheconomic and environmental factors, it isimportant that the hotel sector undertakes  14 OCTOBER 2014  POLICYINSIGHTS Sample Characteristics Sample represents around 40 per cent ofthe small hotels, of which the number ofrooms is less than 50. The averagenumber of rooms of the hotels in thesample is 83. Around 68 per cent of thehotels have a star rating. Of the star ratedhotels, the percentages of hotels underone, two, three, four and five star ratingsare respectively 15, 13, 21, 28 and 22 percent Study Area The study is based on the hotels registeredwith the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) in the Western Provinceof Sri Lanka. Western Province shows thehighest number of tourist hotels atprovincial level in Sri Lanka. The districtsin the Western Province, namely Colombo,Gampaha and Kalutara have around 110hotels altogether. Data Primary data for the study was collectedthrough a survey, using structuredquestionnaire. The questionnaire was pre-tested and fine-tuned based on theinterviews with the key experts in thetourism, energy, waste and water sectorsof Sri Lanka. According to the list ofregistered hotels obtained from theSLTDA, the number of hotels is 110.However, while undertaking the survey itwas revealed that 16 hotels have to beremoved from the sample as they wereidentified as not functioning during thesurvey period. Therefore, out of the 94hotels available for the survey, only 78 percent hotels participated in the survey,recording a response rate of 83 per cent.This seems to be a satisfactory responserate compared to the rates of the previousstudies.The survey included several steps. In thefirst round, hotels were contacted toidentify the officer who is responsible forenvironmental management and collect hiscontact details. In the second round, theidentified officers were contacted and thepurpose of the survey was explained andformal request letters were sent. Based onthe appointments, the trained enumeratorsvisited the hotels to conduct face-to-faceinterviews. For most of the hotels, thesame hotel had to be visited more thanonce, as the respondents could not givetheir records on energy, water, waste andperformance indicators during the firstvisit. Also, a several round of telephonecalls had to be made in getting theappointments and following up to collectmissing data.The characteristics of the participating andnon-participating hotels were analyzed tosee if there is any biasness in respondingpositively to the survey. There was nobiasness for participating in the survey. Study Approaches  Analysis of environmentalmanagement practices Assessment of environmen-tal management using proxyvariables Methods  A multi-approach was used to measure environmental management. Three approacheswere used, since a single approach was not sufficient to explain environmental manage-ment due to their definitional nature and data limitations on certain aspects.1. Energy management practices2. Water management practices3. Waste management practices1. Maintaining environment records2. Presence of an environment policy3. Presence of Enivornmental ManagementSystem (EMS)4. Receipt of Enviornment Awards/ Certification5. Involvement in projects which provideawareness, training and capacitybuildinginvestments on energy and water efficientmanagement practices and effective wastemanagement approaches.The research is highly opportune as the SriLankan government is in the process ofexpanding the industry and the accommo-dation sector with an increased enthusi-asm of the private sector. The studyintends to assess environmental manage-ment in hotels in Sri Lanka and factorsaffecting the adoption of environmentalmanagement practices.  14 OCTOBER 2014  POLICYINSIGHTS Level of adoption of environmentalmanagement practices is analyzed usingadoption of specific practices in relation toenergy, water and waste management.However, since hotels are adopting anumber of management practices, it isdifficult to find out the determinants foreach practice. Therefore, the number ofmanagement practices adopted underenergy, water and waste are taken asdependent variables. Also, the determi-nants of total number of managementpractices are also analyzed.The highest number of practices can beseen under energy management. The Findings average number of energy managementpractices is 3.78. This may be due to thefact that savings due to adoption ofenergy management practices aresignificant in overall operational cost ofthe hotels. Average numbers of practicesfor water and waste management are 2.62and 1.82 respectively. Econometricmodels show that size category, purposeof customers, number of employees perroom and location (city hotels and other)are significant determinants of totalnumber of environmental managementpractices. Maintenance of environmentalrecords in hotels is determined bysize category, luxury level andclassificationPresence of an environment policyof hotels is determined by sizecategory, luxury level, classifica-tion and chain affiliationPresence of an environment policyof hotels is determined by luxurylevelInvolvement in projects whichprovide awareness, training andcapacity building support isdetermined by size category andclassificationReceipt of environmental awardsand certifications is determined byluxury level and chain affiliation Rain water harvestingSensors in toilets Water Management GoodPractices Percentage of Hotels Adopting the Practice 79% Dual flush toiletsLinen and towel reuse 56% Low flow shower and taps 50%50%02%02% Use of treated waste water for watering the garden Solid Waste Management GoodPractices Compositing 22% Recycling 22% Solid WasteSegregation 18% 3R System 13% Waste Water Management GoodPractices SewerageTreatmentPlants 42% SepticTanks 36% BiogasProduction 36%  14 OCTOBER 2014 100/20 Independence AvenueColombo 7, Sri LankaT: +94 11 2143100 / 2665068, F: +94 11 2665065www.ips.lk  INSTITUTE OF POLICY STUDIES OF SRI LANKA  Average Number ofGood EnvironmentalManagementPractices Energy 3.73 Water 2.62 Waste Water 0.54Solid Waste 0.92 Barriers for AdoptingBetter EnvironmentalManagement Practices The most important barrier for the smallhotels is lack of priority assigned forenvironmental management. Also, it isimportant to note that difficulties inobtaining loans have been an issue forsmall hotels and none of the large hotelshas mentioned it as a barrier. POLICYINSIGHTS Energy Management Good Practices Light Timers 3% Use of LED TV 4% Biomass Boilers 6% Efficient A/C 5% Key Switches 60% Use of Solar Power  69% Use of Energy EfficientLighting Methods 88% This policy brief is based on the findings from a study on Environmental ManagementPractices in the Hotel Sector in Sri Lanka, carried out by IPS researcher KanchanaWickramasinghe. This work has been undertaken with the financial support of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE) and its sponsors.Technical support and guidance has been provided by several SANDEE advisors andpeers during the course of this research. The author also acknowledges the commentsfrom the anonymous reviewer.Environmental Management PracticesLack of will and commitment of the top management 6.5 4.3 5.1Environmental management is not a top priority32.312.820.5Perception that costs outweigh the benefits 6.525.517.9Insufficient human resources 6.512.810.3Lack of financial resources25.817.020.5Difficulties in obtaining loans 6.5 0.0 2.6Lack of technical knowhow16.110.612.8Constraints due to the structure of the hotel16.114.915.4Space constraints25.823.424.4SmallHotelsLargeHotelsTotal
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