Light Waves

Local hoteliers are facing another stiff hike in electricity costs, adding to falling tourist arrivals after the political woes of last week.

The new lquote Hotel specific electricity tariff will put hoteliers in a tariff band 40 to 50 percent higher than at present.rn

rnUnder the new rates large city hotels will pay up to Rs 45 mn extra per year and resorts up to Rs 14 million extra per year, Tourism taskforce chief, Prema Cooray said Saturday.rn

rnThe increase will be the second in eighteen months, taking local hotel sector electricity costs double that of Thailand and Malaysia.rn

rnThe last increase in April 2002, put hotels into a three tiered tariff band based on usage, of Rs. 10.70, Rs. 10.80 and Rs. 10.90 per unit of electricity. rn

rnHoteliers at the time expected occupancies in the bigger hotels to fall to about 30 to 40 percent, with smaller resorts hitting a low of between 15 and 30 percent. rn

rnCurrent costs will reportedly be an increase of over 49 percent and 45 percent over