Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 May, 2023 at 11:31 am by Andre Camilleri
An initiative has been launched to help make guesthouses in Malta become more efficient in terms of water and energy consumption.
Minister for the Environment, Energy, and Enterprise Miriam Dalli announced this Energy and Water Agency (EWA) initiative during a visit to a guesthouse in Gudja, on Tuesday morning.
The GUEST initiative – Guesthouse Owners and Users Embarking on a Sustainable Transition – focuses on small hotels such as boutique hotels and guesthouses, whose composition calls for a different approach to that of larger accommodation establishments. Through this initiative, the agency will offer energy and water audits to these guesthouses, along with recommendations to become more sustainable. Therefore, EWA is providing technical assistance to these guesthouses, which often do not have the necessary in-house expertise in this regard.
The scheme is based on the recommendations proposed during consultation meetings with the operators of these small hotels. During these consultations, it became clear that even though there is a will to reduce energy and water consumption, efforts in this direction are often thwarted by the actions of guests staying in these establishments, who do not always know how to adopt sustainable practices during their stay, the government said.
“Therefore the agency will be giving welcome packs to guests of these small hotels with items that can be used during their stay, including messages on how to use energy and water efficiently. This will also serve as a reminder that everyone, even hotel guests, has a role to play in efforts towards sustainability,” the government said.
Minister Miriam Dalli highlighted the importance of sustainability in this industry and in all other economic sectors. “Through this initiative, we are supporting the efficient use of two very important resources, energy and water. I meet several businesses that are looking for technical assistance to become more sustainable. Through EWA’s initiative, together with other initiatives such as Malta Enterprise’s Smart and Sustainable scheme, we are ensuring that even though most Maltese businesses are SMEs, they can still strive for more efficient and sustainable technologies and operations,” Minister Dalli said.
EWA CEO Manuel Sapiano said that this free scheme is not only giving technical advice to the operators of these small hotels but is also working to gradually create a culture change for hotel guests, as they have a substantial impact on the energy and water consumption of these businesses. He added that EWA will use the knowledge and experience gained from the GUEST project to create best practices that can guide other operators in this sector.
Amy Talbot, the owner of the boutique bed and breakfast Talbot and Bons in Gudja, pointed out that it was easy to apply to take part in the GUEST initiative.
More information about GUEST and how small hotels can apply for this initiative is available at energywateragency.gov.mt/guest.