EFECS Tourism Value Chain Pilot Assists Association of Small and Medium Association to Mark The Presence in North

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.