Grants for Tourism Resilience
by Good Life X and Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance
Sri Lanka’s tourism industry continues to face very tough times. The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled most tourism businesses, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the hardest hit. But they are looking for ways to remain resilient, and competitive. Many are looking for innovative ways to pivot and adapt to the new normal. The Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance is partnering with the Good Life X to support this transformation with our latest initiative – ‘Grants for Tourism Resilience’, especially aimed at SMEs.
What is the program about?
The ‘Grants for Tourism Resilience’ program will assist SMEs in the tourism sector to adapt and navigate to a new, innovative and sustainable growth path.
The program will have a total of EUR 50,000 available for granting. Each individual SME may apply for a grant between LKR 1,000,000 (approximately) and LKR 2,100,000 (approximately).
This grant program is an extension of the work implemented by Noah Foundation Germany, under the initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as a response to the COVID-19 crisis in Sri Lanka.
What sort of businesses can apply?
- A Sri Lanka based business registered with the Registrar of Companies.
- Must be within the SME sector, see definition of turnover and employees here.
- Has been in registered operation for a minimum of 2 years.
In addition to the above criteria, the business must be operating in the tourism sector in one of the following categories:
- Accommodation provider / Experience or attraction / Restaurant or dining experience / Retail, arts and crafts / Wildlife experience / Cuisine, spices or tea / Health and wellbeing / Adventure and water sports / Events /Tour operator / Travel Agent / Inbound tour operator (DMC) / Tour guide or interpreter / Transport / Tourism education and training / Members of Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance
Annual membership to the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance is currently free. If you are not a member of the Alliance, please click here for more information on becoming a member.
How does the grants program work?
The program will run in the following 7 steps:
- Applicants to submit an application form by midnight Sri Lanka Time on 18th December 2020.
- An online information session was conducted on 7th December 2020 for those interested in applying. A recording of the video can be found here. We have also completed a FAQ to answer all of your questions from the information session, you can view the FAQ here. If you have any further questions that are not answered in the FAQ, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A panel will review all applications and shortlist applicants based on criteria.
- Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed for a maximum of 20 minutes over Zoom by the panel on 11th, 12th or 13th of January 2021.
- Successful grantees will be informed in writing via email by the Tourism Alliance and will be expected to sign an MOU by 19th January 2021. All grantees are expected to comply fully with the conditions stipulated in the MOU.
- Grantees are expected to submit invoices in line with the Application and Summary Form made at application stage by 29th January 2021.
- Funds will be disbursed to the nominated service providers of the grantees by 15th February 2021.
How do I apply?
The application process is simple.
Interested applicants are expected to COMPLETE the Google Application Form online and submit before midnight Sri Lanka time on 18th December 2020.
Please note that the last part of the Google application form requires you to upload or email us a completed Summary Form. If you are unable to upload the Summary Form to the application, please email it to email@example.com before application deadline (midnight 18th December 2020). Any applications without the completed summary form will be automatically disqualified.
The applicant is expected to briefly describe in their application form how they intend to innovatively reimagine or support their business with this grant. It is mandatory to include any third party goods or service providers details and payment milestones in the summary form.
When do Applications Close?
Applicants must COMPLETE the Google Application Form, with the completed Summary Form attached, and submit before midnight on 18th of December 2020.
Who cannot apply for a grant?
- Any companies / businesses who have already received support and/or funding from GLX and any of its programs
- Sri Lankan Government entities, institutions or their employees
- International businesses
- Members from the leadership team of the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance or their employees
Can I apply for more than one grant?
No. Applicants are expected to submit one application only. Submission of multiple applications by one applicant will be immediate grounds for disqualification.
What criteria will be used to assess my applications?
- How does your application demonstrate that you are trying to bounce back better from the current difficulties?
- How does your application demonstrate an idea or opportunity based on the current challenges?
- How does the application demonstrate you are embracing sustainability (e.g. supporting a better environment, supporting your local community and/or supporting culture)?
- How does your application demonstrate you are thinking about what current and/or future visitors are looking for and what will be appealing to them?
- Does your application use any generally available research, facts, figures or numbers to support what you are hoping to do or the results you are hoping to achieve?
- Your business’ background, team, and experience.
What sort of activities can my business use the grant funding for?
A business can utilize the grant funding for any sustainable idea that helps your business innovate, grow, and bounce back better. Sustainable ideas are ones that have a longer lasting impact and support the environment, support local communities and/or support local culture as well as providing your business with an income stream.
Please note – these are only a guide to get your creative ideas started and not recommendations.
- New offering/product or experience – your business may be wanting to introduce a new product, activity, or experience in your business for visitors that requires the purchase of new products, equipment, or stock.
E.g. maybe you want to offer something connected to nature, food, wellness, wildlife, adventure, history, or culture in your area.
- New marketing – your business may need funds to design or build a new website or upgrade part of your existing website, or may need funds to develop a new logo or whole brand or an advertising or marketing campaign for your businesses new offerings, specials or experiences. You may wish to target a new international visitor market in the future and start connecting or communicating to this new market or segment or perhaps promote something new for the domestic market.
- New or upgraded equipment or infrastructure – you may need new or an upgrade on some existing equipment or infrastructure in your tourism business to make your sustainable actions work. This could be using some of your property/land for a new use such as making honey, producing new handicrafts or accommodation infrastructure or activities.
- New technology – you may need new or improved technology to make your idea a success.
- Expertise – you may need to hire an expert to help make your idea happen. It might be a skill you do not have in the business currently like a specialist tour guide, local community or cultural expert or sustainability expert.
What do you mean by Resilience, Innovation and Sustainable Tourism?
RESILIENCE – Commitment, and ability to adapt, bounce back and recover from difficult situations.
INNOVATION – A new idea, product, experience, or way of doing things – to think differently based on the current challenges.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM – Sustainable tourism activities focus on a balance between the environmental, economic, community and cultural impacts and play an important role in championing local communities, environments and culture. Sustainable tourism attempts to minimize the impact on the environment and local culture so that it will be available for future generations, while contributing to generate income, employment, and the conservation of local ecosystems.
Source: World Tourism Organization.
What sort of activities can I NOT use the funding for?
The grant cannot go towards your existing standard business operating costs (i.e. rent, utilities and salaries) or debt financing.
How are the funds provided?
Funds are not provided directly or in cash to successful grantees.
Successful grantees will sign an MOU that enables funds to be disbursed to their proposed goods/ service provider for the execution of the activities detailed in the Application and Summary Form according to the payment milestones ONLY.
Any deviation from the amounts submitted in the Application and Summary Form will not be accommodated.
E.g. If your Application entails purchasing 10 chairs. Funds will be directly disbursed to your chosen chair vendor/ service provider according to the payment milestone detailed in your Application and Summary Form .
When are the funds provided?
Funds will be provided according to the payment milestones stipulated in your Application and Summary Form. Grantees will be expected to submit invoices to implement the activities indicated in their Application and Summary Form no later than the 29th of January 2021.
On what grounds will an application be disqualified?
- The application submitted has incomplete information.
- The company has submitted more than one application.
- If the information submitted in the application is misrepresented and/or untrue.
- The company does not meet sustainability criteria.
- The company is represented on the leadership of the Tourism Alliance.
- The company does not qualify as a Small and Medium Enterprise.
- The company has been operational for less than 2 years.
Terms & Conditions
Applicants will be expected to agree to the following Terms and Conditions fully when making an application for the grant.
- All decisions of the selection panel are final. There are no appeal processes.
- The amount granted to a successful grantee is at the discretion of the panel.
- The eligibility of an SME, its alignment to the program’s resilience and sustainability criteria will be subject to the discretion of the panel.
- Applicants are expected to submit completed applications with all relevant information, including a brief description of the activities that will be carried out with the funding, along with associated costs in LKR for each stipulated activity.
- Spending timeline including when you would like to spend your money to be clearly indicated.
- Applicants are expected to provide all details of the chosen service providers/vendors including name, address, email address, and contact number.
- Applicants are expected to confirm that selected service providers/vendors have access to online banking facilities and can receive foreign currency into their bank account at the time of application.
- All stipulated amounts in the Application and Summary Form should include bank charges and processing fees.
- If there are multiple payments for the same contract, please indicate the milestones or deliverables for each phase.
- Applicants agree to submitting invoices 6 working days prior to the payment milestone date according to the template provided.
- Payments will be directly made to the service provider/vendor. No exceptions will be made.
- Tourism Alliance will notify grantees once the funding has been disbursed to the vendors as outlined in the Application and Summary Form submitted.
If you have any questions connect with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org