The European Commission launched the call for proposals “Boosting sustainable tourism development and capacity of tourism SMEs through transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer” as part of the COSME Work Programme 2019. In line with the priorities of the European Commission, the action proposed will support transnational and cross-border cooperation to foster innovative solutions for sustainable tourism development and management of tourism enterprises, SMEs in particular. The tourism sector’s competitiveness is closely linked to its sustainability, as the quality of tourist destinations is strongly influenced by their natural and cultural environment and by their integration into a local community. The adaptation of European tourism companies towards more sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient business models will help to protect the environment and to create a competitive advantage by improving the quality of the tourism offer.
The action aims at:
- reinforcing transnational and cross-border cooperation to enable sustainable growth of tourism SMEs
- fostering SMEs’ capacities and skills to explore and uptake solutions, which would improve their sustainable management and tourism sustainability in general
- fostering innovative solutions for sustainable tourism through cross-sectoral cooperation
A transnational consortium/network of public and private stakeholders (including business incubators, accelerators and business support organizations providing business support to SMEs and start-ups cooperating with providers of sustainable solutions, recycling centers, environmental education centers, social economy associations, professional associations) will act as an intermediary organizing specific activities for tourism SMEs in different countries.
The consortium will organize and provide direct support to companies to build their capacities to develop and implement sustainable and circular standards/models/strategies in their services and operations, but will also facilitate cross-border/transnational cooperation to foster peer to peer learning as well as to exchange knowledge and good practices in increasing tourism sustainability.
Each consortium/network will directly support (including financial support) in total a minimum of 60 tourism SMEs from a minimum of 3 eligible countries. The supported tourism SMEs may be established in different eligible countries from those in which the partners forming the consortium are established. The consortium shall also support a balanced number of tourism SMEs per country.
The project’s duration must be between 25 months and 36 months.
The consortium must gather a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 members/partners – different legal persons – covering at least 5 eligible countries (EU Member States and third countries participating in COSME)
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at EUR 5 000 000.
The maximum grant per project will be EUR 1 000 000.
EASME expects to fund 5 to 7 proposals.
The grant is limited to a maximum reimbursement rate of 75 % of eligible costs
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS
The deadline for electronic submission is 24 October 2019, 17:00 hours (Brussels time).
Further information and official documentation are available here