01st October 2019 at The Victorian, The Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo
EFECS is a joint development project funded by the Government of Canada and implemented in Sri Lanka by SANASA International Pvt Ltd with the management support of Développement International Desjardins (DID). The project aims to support the development of Micro, Small and Medium scale Entrepreneurs (MSME’s), especially women, along identified value chains. Tourism is one of the value chains identified by the project.
By substantially increasing the size of local businesses, the project expects to enable local communities gain better economic advantage from the tourism industry. To achieve this objective, EFECS has conducted an in-depth study in selected four provinces in Sri Lanka: Northern, Southern, North-West and Sabaragamuwa to understand the existing challenges and opportunities of the tourism value chain.
The inaugural stakeholders Forum to present the findings and insights of the study to the key stakeholders of the value chain was held on 01st October 2019 At the Victorian, The Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo. Iver 90 participants from private and public stakeholders of tourism industry participated in the forum and extended their cooperation for this project. Delegates from the Canadian Government also participated to the forum.
All participants received a detailed docket including a booklet summarising the key findings of the research, detailed agenda and key discussion points.
Respecting the Nations
National Flags of Sri Lanka and Canada were hoisted at the forum extending the honor and gratitude for the nations. Participants stood up for the National Anthem of Sri Lanka.
Lighting of the Traditional Oil Lamp
Demonstrating the fact that Sri Lanka has a consistent vibrant and unique culture practiced from generation to generation, the official commencement of the occasion was marked by lighting the traditional oil lamp by the distinguished guests: Mr. Daniel Joly, Counsellor (Development) and Head of Canadian Cooperation, Mr. René Fréchet, Project Director, EFECS Project, Mr. Trevor Ludowyke, Senior Development Officer, Canadian Embassy, Mr. Martin Mailhot, Value Chain Advisor, EFECS Project, Mrs. Samadani Kiriwandeniya, Managing Director SANAS International, Mr. Justin Karandawala, President of the Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs in Tourism, Mr. Waruna Samaradiwakara, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Ms. Harshi Abeynayake, Tourism Value Chain Officer, EFECS Project was participated at this traditional ceremony.
The forum observed a moment of silence
As a tribute to the victims of the Easter Sunday Bomb Attack, the forum observed a moment of silence. The EFECS project specifically selected Hotel Kingsbury which was affected by the attack to host the event, delivering a live message for Sri Lanka Tourism: “Let’s start from the point we stopped”.
The forum was officially welcomed by Mrs. Samadani Kiriwandeniya, Managing Director of SANASA International. “This forum will assist to obtain expert views and ideas to develop a five-year joint action plan to be implemented in collaboration with private/public and civil societies using their valuable inputs”.
Keynote Address of the Forum
Mr. René Fréchet, Project Director, EFECS Project, explained the EFECS Project Implementation Strategy and the Tourism Value Chain. “We expect an improved and sustainable financial and business management by stakeholders of targeted value chains, particularly women, in selected provinces of Sri Lanka”.
Presentation of Findings of the Tourism Value Chain Study
Meeting the key objective of the event, Ms. D M H Abeynayake, Value Chain Officer (Tourism), EFECS Project, presented the findings of the Research conducted on demand and identification of market opportunities in the Tourism value chain, with reference to the Northern, North Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Ms. Abeynayake further stated that the successful implementation of the five-year joint action plan which will begin with this inaugural step would increase the financial security of entrepreneurs engaged in tourism.
Stakeholder consultation on the findings of the Tourism Value Chain Study
Participants engaged in presenting their ideas and proposals to contribute to the drafting of the Joint Action plan, discussing the key topics of the presentation. All inputs and suggestions given by the audience were then presented by the project team.
Mr. Martin Mailhot, Value Chain Advisor, EFECS Project, steered the Wrap-Up session of the forum summarizing all inputs given by the stakeholders.
Guest Speeches & Special Comments
Mr. Daniel Joly, Counsellor (Development) and Head of Cooperation of the Government of Canada in Sri Lanka highlighted the importance of the value chain approach. Professor Dr. M S M Aslam, Senior Lecturer (Tourism), Sabaragamuwa University, further commented on the importance of developing the community or a sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka. Number of other entrepreneurs and senior officials from the government related to Tourism shared their views on the project.
Vote of Thanks & Conclusion of the Event
Mr. Chopadhithya Edirisinghe, Team Leader – Value Chain Development, EFECS Project, conveyed his sincere gratitude for all the participants on behalf of the team of EFECS Project, concluding the session. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to meet different levels of MSMEs and other institutions during the lunch.