Real North Market Connectivity Attempt

Providing Creative and marketing Support for the Northern SMEs in producer societies and organizations in connection with Tourism Value Chain

EFECS, a joint development project between Development International Desjardins (DID), and SANASA International Pvt. (Ltd) aimed to support the development of Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in targeted value chains and geographic areas of Sri Lanka. Tourism was one of the value chains identified to improve the local economy in a sustainable manner in the country’s Northern Province since end 2019.

To create a sustainable market for the local handicrafts and amenities required for tourists and tourist hotels, EFECS Project commenced to pilot rural producer society empowerment programme such as palmyra handicrafts and handloom manufactured by rural women.

Under the Livelihood Diversification Strategy, EFECS Project identified key industries located in rural areas of Northern Province that relate to the tourism value chain. Accordingly, the EFECS Project provided trainings on Business Planning, Accounting and Bookkeeping, Technical Trainings and Marketing for 11 SMEs, societies listed below.

Natura Palmyra Handicraft Development Society Puthukamam, Uyilankulam, Mannar

Nannatan-Musali Palm Coconut Resource Development Co-Op Society, Periyakattaikadu, Mannar

Nedunkeni Palm Resource Development Coop Society, Main Street, Nedunkeny, Vavuniya

Aatral Arasi Palmyra Handicrafts Women society, RDS Building, Thirunavtakulam, Vavuniya

Jaffna District Textile Viewers Cooperative Society, Irupalai Road, Kondawil, Jaffna

Kadda Vinayagar Handloom Society, Mulliyawalai, Mullaitivu

Thunukkai Handloom Viewers Cooperative Society, Pandiyankulam, Mullaitivu

VVR Cashew, Mullliyawalai, Mullaitivu

Vanni Cashew, Poonagary, Kilinochchi

Delft Cultural Dancers Society, Delft

Kilinochchi Cultural Dancers Society, Kilinochchi

At the final phase, EFECS strategy worked towards introducing these groomed SMEs to the Tourism Stakeholders in the Province to obtain their products / services and improve their businesses to overcome the prevailing economic difficulties. In this case, the groomed SMEs were given the support in Branding, Packaging and Promotion for their initial step as most of these SMEs, Societies are currently going through a hard economic situation due to the Pandemic.

In addition to the technical training, comprehensive marketing training programme was conducted for the rural entrepreneurs. Creative strategy, being as the most wanted

requirement for marketing was developed with the engagement of the community. As a result of that, every pilot society was given an attractive brand name, logo, and a tagline.

An attractive product catalogues, brochures, labels, visiting cards were created using the real products manufactured by the societies. Volunteer engagement of the Kilinochchi Cultural Dancers Society as brand ambassadors as well as the contribution received from The Thinnai Hotel for the location supported to have a high standard photo shoot to assist these creatives. Further, the project assisted in printing an adequate initial quantity of these creatives for the future use of these societies.

A colourful brochures and product catalogues were designed and printed for each society supported by the project. The brochures were presented to the respective officials in the Northern Province to sustain the initiative on 27th September 2021.

Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Tourism Value Chain Officer, EFECS Project presenting a set of community brochures to the Chief Secretary of Northern Province, Mr. Saman Bandulasena at the presence of Chairman, Northern Province Tourism Bureau, Mr. Subasinghe, Coordinating Secretary to the Chief Secretary and Mr. Kulendran Hershanth, Market Development Officer (Northern Province) of EFECS on 27th September 2021

A set of brochures were presented to Mr.R.Varatheeswaran, Secretary, Ministry of Local Government who looks after the Departments of Rural Development as well as Tourism. His insights and guidance were immensely important throughout the programme.

Brochures were presented to Mrs.S.Vanaja, Director, Department of Industries of Northern Province. Her assistance in connecting with all industrial communities in the province was highly admired. Department in collaboration with Northern Province Tourism Bureau disseminated the databases of the entrepreneurs among the hoteliers to strengthen the market connectivity.There were number of Cooperative Societies empowered through the programme. A set of brochures were presented to Mr.M.Nanthagopalan Commissioner, Cooperative Development Department of Northern Province.

There were number of Cooperative Societies empowered through the programme. A set of brochures were presented to Mr.M.Nanthagopalan Commissioner, Cooperative Development Department of Northern Province.

“This initiative was guided by Hon. Governor of Northern Province since its launch. A proper market platform will be organised by Northern Province Tourism Bureau with the participation of supported communities and tourism stakeholders with her presence soon after the lockdown” stated Mr. Mascarenhas in a post comment.

Product Labels and Visiting Cards were designed and printed as follows.

The Real North Product Display Units

In order to market these products, out of 250 tourism accommodation providers in Northern Province, project identified the best suitable 15 hotels with higher number of tourists visit and groomed 10 societies requested to establish Real North Display Units to make these products available for visitors. The purpose is to sell the rural handicraft products for the visitors at their departure from the Northern Tour.

Locations of established Real North Display Units in Northern Province

Jaffna District

North Gate by Jetwing, 136, Martine Road, Jaffna

Jetwing Jaffna, 37, Mahathma Ghandi Road, Jaffna

The Thinnai, No 86, Palaly Road, Thirunalveli, Jaffna

The Valampuri, No 148/10, Station Road, Jaffna

Hotel Louvisiya, No. 42, Clock Tower Road, Jaffna

J Guest Pvt Ltd, No46, Pungankulam Road, Ariyalai, Jaffna

Delft Samudra Hotel, Delft Island

Tourist Information Centre, Delft Island

Jaffna District Textile Weavers Cooperative Society, Irupalai Road, Konadvil, Jaffna

Kilinochchi District

NatureWins Pvt Ltd, Madduvilnaadu West, Vadiyadi, Poonakary, Kilinochchi

Mannar District

The Vayu Resort, Thalai Mannar Village South, Mannar

Palmyra House, Thalaimannarama Road, Karisal, Mannar

Hotel Agape, No. 07, Seminary Road, Mannar

Mannar Coccos Garden Pvt Limited, Station Road, Mannar

Juli Reception, Hospital Road, Mannar

Rudram Vegetarian Hotel, Mullipallam, Thirukethiwaram, Mannar

Nanatan-Musali Palm Co-Op Society, Naruvilikulam,Vankalai , Mannar

Natura Palmyra Handicraft Society, Puthukamam, Uyilankulam, Mannar

Vavuniya District

Hotel Oviya, No. 47, Mill Road, Vavuniya

Hotel Princess Rose, No 15, 4th lane,Kurumankadu, Vavuniya

Aatral Arasi Palmyra Handicrafts, RDS Building,3rd Lane, Thirunavatkulam, Vavuniya

Nedunkeny Palm Development Co- Op Society, Nedunkeny, Vavuniya

Mullaitivu District

Ocean Park Resort, Kovilkudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu

Sun and Sand Hotel, Kovilkudirippu, Mullaitivu

Kaddavinayagar Handloom Society, Mulliyawalai, Ward No 03, Mulliyawalai South, Mulliyawalai, Mullaitivu