Tourism SMEs gain from MDF Crisis Management Insight | Daily News

Tourism SMEs gain from MDF Crisis Management Insight

MDF Crisis Management workshop in progress and Srilal Miththapala addressing a workshop
MDF Crisis Management workshop in progress and Srilal Miththapala addressing a workshop

Small and medium tourism enterprises (SMEs) across Sri Lanka have been part of a series of workshops on crisis management and recovery measures led by tourism industry veteran Srilal Miththapala. The workshops are the initiative of Australian private sector development program Market Development Facility (MDF), endorsed by The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka (THASL).

Successful workshops have so far been held in Negombo, Hikkaduwa and Kandy, supported by the area hotel associations.

Across Sri Lanka, hotels have been affected almost uniformly by the crisis, and hoteliers were quick to point out that they are already employing some loss-mitigation tactics. In Hikkaduwa, hotel association members collectively bargained for better terms with their suppliers, resulting in creditors easing off hotels for a short time until the former can manage their affairs better. In Kandy, several hotel owners have switched suppliers to lower-cost options that also allow for the purchase of smaller quantities.

“While it’s important to talk about how to deal with the crisis, we also want to highlight that there are opportunities to be gained from it –like how to use this extra time to up skill staff, or upgrade the property,” stated Srilal Miththapala, who is currently a Senior Tourism Adviser for MDF.

The workshops cover the basics of general crisis response such as strengthening security, crisis communications and marketing. But it also focuses specifically on less-discussed practical issues such as crisis budgeting, cash flow management, debt re-payment strategies and revenue management.

MDF’s next workshop will be for SMEs in Polonnaruwa, followed by one in Trincomalee. Australia’s MDF operates under the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs and works primarily in tourism and related sectors in Sri Lanka.

 


 

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