|Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler (centre) in conversation with (from left) Minister of Transport and Works, John Boyce; Chairman of??Williams Industries Inc., Ralph Williams; Minister of Energy, Senator Darcy Boyce; and President of Fairway Developments Ltd, David Staples, at the launch. (A. Miller/BGIS)??|
Government has listened to the concerns of hoteliers about escalating energy bills and has come to their rescue by announcing a second round of relief for the sector.
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, announced government’s intentions to implement a second Tourism Industry Relief Fund (TIRF), which is also known as TIRF Lite or TIRF 2.
Speaking during the launch of Williams Evergeen – the newest addition to the Williams Industries Group at Mall Internationale, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael, last Friday, the Minister said the grant money would "assist those hotels, restaurants and tourism-related businesses to navigate these difficult waters of increased energy prices".
While not revealing the size of the latest financial assistance to the sector, Mr. Sinckler noted: "Ultimately, we would like…the creation of a special fund designed to promote energy efficiency and hotel refurbishment to make the [tourism sector] more competitive in the market place."
He further stated: "We would want to encourage them and incentivise [hoteliers] to take advantage of alternative energy sources because we know that to rely on fossil fuel energy is unsustainable."
The first TIRF provides $15 million in grant money to hotels and tourism-related businesses that were reeling from the economic and financial crash in 2009.