56 SMEs in North obtained ASMET membership in connection with ASMET Regional Office, Vavuniya
Tourism Value Chain of the EFECS Pilot project implemented in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka since 2019 diversified its route to empower the affected SMEs in Northern Province in order to introduce the best Value Chain Development Mechanism despite the pandemic. As a result of that, DID, SI and Global Affairs Canada have agreed to utilize part of the EFECS project’s resources to the implementation of an Emergency Program aimed at mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism-based MSMEs in the Northern Province
Consequently, the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Sri Lanka in Tourism (ASMET) and the project partners entered to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sharing the EFECS project’s objective of developing the tourism value chain in the Northern Province in a situation where the tourism industry in Sri Lanka has been very negatively affected by the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
The project provided the financial assistance for the association in establishing its first regional office in Vavuniya while spending all administration costs related to it for over one year’s period from June 2020 to September 2021. In parallel with that, ASMET relaunched its official website under www.asmetsrilanka.com with more value-added features on 26/7/2021 11:38 AM under the financial assistance of EFECS. The new website was completed under the supervision of a special committee appointed by ASMET under the leadership of Mr. Prebudda Jayasinghe, present secretary of ASMET.
Project organised a 03days Trade Familiarisation Tours and 02 Business Meetings in Jaffna and Mannar in Northern Province for interested 25 Travel Agents to develop their tour packages. Accordingly, there were 02 new tour packages focussing on the domestic tourists were introduced by ASMET travel Agents. A 03-month social media campaign was aired for 25 ASMET member travel agents in order to improve their individual brand awareness in connection with Northern Tourism.
ASMET was able to increase their membership network by issuing 56 SME memberships to the tourism entrepreneurs in Northern Province including 12 female entrepreneurs during the project time period.
Before the pandemic time period, ASMET assisted the SMEs members to participate for international travel fairs and roadshows. Similarly, number of training programmes were conducted to uplift their capacities. While connecting these new members for the upcoming promotions, ASMET would help these new SME members in North to get connected with the members from various other parts of the country.
Although the time period of the initial MOU was over by 30th June 2021, that was further extended till the project closure on 30th September 2021 in order to further assist ASMET to achieve its objectives. “We have decided to continue the office in Vavuniya after the project is completed” stated Mr. M. B. Jayaratne, Present President of ASMET while appreciating the MOU extension in a communication. Accordingly, project transferred all office equipment and furniture to further assist to ASMET to continue this initiative.