Russell: Hoteliers have to determine best approach on BPL bond fee

Hotel operators will have to put their “heads together” as they determine how to approach Bahamas Power and Light’s (BPL) rate reduction bond fee and how it will impact their businesses.

Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) President Carlton Russell said the fee has big implications for not just hotels, but all other tourism-related businesses.

“Being in business, you’re never prepared for an extra fee,” Russell said when asked if the hotel sector is prepared for an increase in electricity bills.

“However, we need to put our heads together as an industry, all inclusive. We can not only think about hotels, you have to think about attractions as well, ground transportation, destination management companies and the implications of that tax increase on their business. We will put our heads together and figure out how we approach this.”

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister announced last month that the average fee for Bahamian household accounts would be roughly $20 to $30 monthly for about ten months in 2020.

However, neither the government nor BPL have specified how much hotel or business accounts – which consume considerably more electricity than consumer households – would be charged.

BPL’s rate reduction bond fee comes following a summer of frequent load shedding, during which Russell lamented the impact the subpar power generation was having on tourism in the country.

The government passed the Electricity Rate Reduction Bond Bill in the House of Assembly last month, as BPL attempts to tackle its more than $300 million legacy debt and looks to raise another $350 million for future infrastructure projects.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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