North, Sri Lanka strengthens the capacities of tourism stakeholders for a secured tomorrow

A sustainable community tourism model to strengthen the financial and non-financial capacities of entrepreneurs in the rural sector

A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It is about feeling connected and being responsible for what happens. Northern Tourism has an immense potentiality to be rebuilt against any crisis situations with the power of community.

In order to strengthen the Northern Tourism Value Chain, EFECS Project in collaboration with Northern Province Tourism Bureau and Department of Cooperatives conducted a 20days residential tour guide training programme and 02 days Digital Marketing Training Programme for the hoteliers.

The awarding ceremony for trained tour guides and hoteliers with the unveiling of real north documentaries and tour maps was successfully held on 25th February 2020 at North Gate by Jetwing, Jaffna with the participation of key tourism stakeholders in the province. Hon. (Mrs.) P. S. M. Charles, Governor of Northern Province attended as the Chief Guest of the Event and Mr. Shri S. Balachandran, Consul General, Indian High Commission addended as the Guest of Honour.

Hon. (Mrs.) P. S. M. Charles, Governor of Northern Province lighting the first flame

Mr. Shri S. Balachandran, Consul General, Indian High Commission lighting the oil lamp

Mrs. A. Stanley De Mel, Government Agent/District Secretary, Mannar

Mr. K. Vimalanathan, Government Agent/District Secretary, Mullaitivu

Mr. P. Vageshan, Commissioner, Department of Cooperative Development, Northern Province

Mr. R. Varatheeswaran, Secretary, Ministry of Local Government

Mr. Stanley Mascarenhas, Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau

Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project

Northern is all about welcoming people with so much of glamour mixed with so much of gestures. Students of Mahadeva Swamikal Society, Kilinochchi founded by great leader late Mr. Rasanayagam presented the welcome dance at the event.

Students of the Mahadeva Swamikal Society, Kilinochchi welcoming the guests…

The audience was excitingly explored the five documentaries prepared focussing on each and every district route map of Northern Province.

Project in collaboration with the Northern Province Department of Cooperatives and Northern Province Tourism Bureau developed a Tour Guide based on the said exercise to introduce a destination marketing model based on a particular village which was not exposed to tourism. The initial copies of the brochures were presented to the guests from the organisers.

Hon. (Mrs.) P. S. M. Charles, Governor of Northern Province receiving the first copy of the tour guide map

Mr. Shri S. Balachandran, Consul General, Indian High Commission receiving the first copy of the Kilinochchi tour guide map

Mrs. A. Stanley De Mel, Government Agent/District Secretary, Mannar receiving the first copy of the Mannar tour guide map

Mrs. Uma Neranjan, Director (Planning), Ministry of Tourism receiving the first copy of the Mullaitivu tour guide map

Mr. P. Vageshan, Commissioner, Department of Cooperative Development Northern Province receiving the first copy of the Kilinochchi tour guide map

04 Tour Guides from Jaffna District those who were professionalized through a 20days residential programme conducted by EFECS Project in collaboration with Northern Province Tourism Bureau were awarded

Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of Kilinochchi, Mr. S. M. Zubair awarding certificates and tour guide Identity Cards for a trained tour guide from Kilinochchi

Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of Vavuniya, Mrs. Indra Subasinghe awarding certificates and tour guide Identity Cards for a trained tour guide from Vavuniya

Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of Mannar, Ms. F.H.A. Sameeyu awarding certificates and tour guide Identity Cards for a trained tour guide from Mannar

Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of Mullaitivu, Mr. V. Sivakumar awarding certificates and tour guide Identity Cards for a trained tour guide from Mullaitivu

Assistant Cooperative Commissioner of Jaffna, Mrs. S. Shiyamala awarding certificate and tour guide Identity Card for a trained tour guide from Jaffna

Professional Artists from Delft Island presented a short story of Ramayanaya adding a different colour and a cheer for the audience. Mr. Sathyasothy, Divisional Secretary of Delft Island organised the team of professionals.

Professional 12 Artists Group from Delft Island colouring the event

Chief Guest, Hon. Governor of Northern Province, Hon. Mrs. P S M Charles, a generous personality stands behind the entire success story of Northern Tourism, who always motivates the stakeholders and encourages new initiatives directed through sustainable development of the Province addressed the forum with a cheerful attitude.

“Despite all the challenges and risks that are engaged with this pandemic, I am happy to see Northern Tourism is finding its own way of re-building the sector through this destination marketing initiative launched in last year September in collaboration with EFECS Project” said, Hon. Governor addressing the stakeholders.

She further admired capacity building training support given for over 150 hoteliers in Northern Province on pandemic guidelines, Hotel package development, digital marketing, and registration process on Sri Lanka Tourism Authorities for safe and secure certifications.

“I must applaud to the 5 documentaries released today for each district and the tremendous effort put into the development of the outcome. Fantastic job and I thank for the EFECS team and Northern tourism for identifying such a timely needed product not only for the use of tourism but also can be used for district level other purposes” said the governor concluding her speech.

EFECS Tourism Value Chain Development is a two-year pilot project commenced in November 2019 to inculcate the value chain model approach in rural settings with the participation of cooperative community. Since the pilot is in its last six months, Value Chain Officer (Tourism) presented the lesson learnt from this pilot as well as the model that can be replicated in order to build a sustainable cooperative tourism model for future tourism.

She further stated that the Capacity Building of the producer cooperatives to obtain better revenues from tourism value chain and connecting the existing producer cooperatives with tourism value chain using trade fairs and events is important and the respective government institutes together with the cooperative movement, this could be really possible.

The microsite created for the purpose of promoting the northern province attractions and activities for the domestic as well as international travellers was officially launched at the forum. Northern Province Tourism Bureau, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing and EFECS Project conducted 02days Digital Marketing Programme to promote their hotel packages in the New Normal. Accordingly, 63 hoteliers were presented with certificates at the ceremony. Director Chamber of Industries, Yalpanam | BOI Direct Investor for Hotel Projects Mr. Vasudevan, Mr. Hazeem, Director (Development), Ministry of Tourism and Mr. Jekhan Aruliah, Board Director of Northern Province Tourism Bureau joined to present the hoteliers.

Director Chamber of Industries, Yalpanam | BOI Direct Investor for Hotel Projects Mr. Vasudevan presenting a certificate for a hotelier

Mr. Hazeem, Director (Development), Ministry of Tourism presenting a certificate for a hotelier from Jaffna qualified in Digital Marketing

Mr. Jekhan Aruliah, Board Director of Northern Province Tourism Bureau giving a certificate for a hotelier in Vavuniya District

Professionalised Tour Guides from Northern Province

Trained Hoteliers on Digital Marketing in Northern Province