The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) have started to build awareness in several regions of Sri Lanka while matching the Grant Scheme for SME’s.
ASMET’s such awareness programmes are organised in strategic locations around the country to promote the “Sustainable Tourism Development Project (STDP)” developed by the Ministry of Economic Development while matching Grant Scheme for SME’s. The very first event which was supported by the Ministry and in association with the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) was held in Tangalle on Monday, May 27, 2013. The programme were participated by the representatives from the Ministry, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and the Peoples Bank. The participants clarified the details of the project and answered the questions that were asked by the local SME’s.
As reported by the Sri Lankan Tourism Ministry, so far ASMET has completed 11 such programmes in Tangalle with HDCC, in Hikkaduwa with the Hikkaduwa Hoteliers Association, in Aluthgama with the Kalutara District Chamber of Commerce, in Kandy with the Central Province Chamber of Commerce, in Habarana, in Anuradhapura with the Anuradhapura District Chamber of Commerce, in Batticaloa with the Pasikudah Hoteliers Association and the Batticaloa District Chamber of Commerce, in Arugambay with the Arugambay Tourism Association, in Moneragala with the Moneragala District Chamber of Commerce, in Negombo and Jaffna.
The Media of Tourism Ministry says “ASMET strongly believes that, SME’s are a vital segment in our tourism industry. It is the fastest growing community in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry these days. Supporting SME’s to upgrade their products and services appropriately will undoubtedly improve our national tourism product and economy. More importantly, since SME’s are primarily rural and community based, the direct socio economic benefits will be enhanced at the grass roots level. This in turn will make Sri Lanka’s tourism responsible and sustainable.”
It is reported that ASMET is not only committed to serve its members, but also the wider SME community which includes formal and informal, keeping the national interest in mind. As a result ASMET’s Executive Committee has contributed time and effort during the formulation of this project, to make the project appropriate for Sri Lanka’s SME’s in tourism that would meet the aspirations of these industry players.
“ASMET operates as a top-down conduit for the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Sri Lanka Institute for Tourism and Hotel Management and the Ministry of Economic Development, to disseminate government information, while being a bottom up and united voice for SME’s in Sri Lanka Tourism” says the Sri Lanka Tourism Media.
Suresh De Mel, the President of ASMET is inviting the all the SME’s in the tourism sector to join the growing ASMET community to gain various benefits. The invitation expects to make the newcomers to network with the existing members of ASMET, to gain knowledge about the industry and its potential, and to share best practices and market information. ASMET is also encouraging the SME’s to make use of the grants available. Ultimately this is to improve the individual tourism product from these SME’s, to add value to the industry as a whole, and to make Sri Lankan tourism truly sustainable and long lasting industry.