Rohan Abeywickrama reappointed as President: Sri Lanka Tourism recognizes ASMET’s role at 11th AGM | Daily News

Rohan Abeywickrama reappointed as President: Sri Lanka Tourism recognizes ASMET’s role at 11th AGM

The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) office bearers for 2017/18 with tourism officials and Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka to Austria Edith Hornig
The Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) office bearers for 2017/18 with tourism officials and Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka to Austria Edith Hornig

Rohan Abeywickrama was reappointed as the President of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) for 2017/18 at the 11th AGM held recently in Colombo.

The recognition and importance given to ASMET by the Ministry of Tourism and the relevant authorities such as the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) and other related tourism organisations has greatly strengthened ASMET to venture into greater strides in the development of Sri Lanka Tourism.

ASMET was founded in 2005 and has come a long way to meet the aspirations of the Sri Lanka Tourism Industry.The present membership numbering over 100 and many more intending to join in the near future has benefited largely by the assistance of international agencies such as the CBI of the Netherlands and the US Department of Commerce offering educational programs and numerous other assistance such as training and familiarization, Web upgrades and assistance to buy space and enable participation in International Travel and Tourism Trade Fairs.

The recent encouragement by CBI to help companies to qualify for Travelife certification was a boost to the industry certified companies only. Several companies were awarded this prestigious certificate during the ITB held in March this year.

The CBI Netherlands EU organisation offering aid to travel and tourism in the Asian region also trained selected ASMET members by foreign tourism experts on two occasions in the Hague and continues to conduct these educational programs in Sri Lanka too. While the special American Business interim training in tourism related sector SABIT hosted a three weeks exposure to eleven ASMET members in the USA, the tremendous knowledge gained was contributed towards the development of Sri Lanka Tourism. The lessons learnt from these foreign donor agencies gave a fine boost to ASMET that facilitated the holding of several workshops in the provinces that helped to share the information gained and studied during this USA program with the private and public sector. This is part of ASMET policy to provide opportunities for the Small and Medium Enterprises and enhance the good image of the tourism industry by upgrading their respective products and services to meet international standards, create a platform for the informal sector to be given the opportunity to come into the mainstream.

Meanwhile the ASMET President has played a dynamic role in the progressive affairs of ASMET and has enabled participation in many workshops with the Western and North Western Provincial Councils, the Hotel School and many other associations including the ABS information systems, Monash University and tourism sector stake holders. Representations have been made to the Ministry of Finance for the soft loans to be extended by banks to the membership and to The Ministry of Tourism for numerous facilities to help the membership to develop their respective business.

Meetings with insurance companies were organised to establish a blanket cover for the entire membership and negotiations are in progress.ASMET has always been invited by The Ministry of Tourism SLTDA and The SLTPB for all meetings in respect of the development and promotion of tourism. An important provision of a 50% discount rate for participation of SME's in the International Travel fairs is a grateful and highly appreciated assistance by the membership.The President has also used his influence with The CBI (Foreign Ministry of Netherlands) for an extension to continue the scholarship scheme through 2018 and also conduct an IT workshop in the forthcoming month of February 2018.

ASMET will continue to pursue its mission to establish good partnerships and links with National and International Tourism related organisation and the Government together with large enterprises and corporate companies and be part of a multi stake holder network that has access to Policy Makers, Industry Leaders, Financiers, Investors and International Markets.

The tremendous support extended to ASMET by the Ministry of Tourism -SLTDA and SLTPB is a great source of strength to move forward. ASMET will continue to administer a professional Secretariat to achieve its goals that will emerge by the changing times.

Awards were also presented several past presidents to the service rendered for tourism in Sri Lanka.

(MFJ)


 

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