On the 30th of April, the European Commission published the call for proposals “Supporting Competitive and Sustainable Growth in the Tourism Sector“ (COS-TOUR-2015-3-04), which brings together in one document those who in the past have been treated as distinct calls. The specificity of each strand, however, has been preserved, since the call is divided into three Themes, and project proposals must refer specifically to one of them.
The themes foreseen in the call are as follows.
THEME 1. Increasing tourism flows in low/medium seasons for seniors and youth target groups
This objective is divided into two axes, according to the target intended for the project proposals: old people, comprising persons with more than 55 years, and young people, whose age group is between 15 and 29 years.
The targeted groups in turn provide for different types of eligible actions: for seniors, the call finances projects of transnational mobility related to tourism products suitable for elderly; while for young people, the aim is to develop intra-EU mobility schemes between organizations in order to encourage young people to make travel/tourism/volunteering experiences in a country other than their own.
THEME 2. Diversifying the EU tourism offer and products – Promoting transnational thematic tourism products
It aims to promote transnational thematic tourism products in order to diversify the range of tourism products available.
Project proposals must relate to products such as itinerary/trail/tourism offer focusing on: sports and/or wellness activities in synergy with natural areas/heritage for axis 1; cultural or industrial heritage, structured around an identifiable common theme, for axis 2.
THEME 3. Enhancing tourism accessibility – improving facilities and services for tourists with special access needs
The third theme is dedicated to accessible tourism products, with the goal of making available standard tourism offer to people with accessibility problems of various kind (from disability to special temporary access needs). The theme is subdivided in two strands, one dedicated to sports/outdoor activities and another to cultural heritage.
The total budget of the call amounts to EUR 4.300.000: for Themes 1 and 2, resources are equal to 1.700.000 euro each, while 900.000 euro is the amount allocated to Theme 3.
Any public authority or private stakeholder active in the fields of tourism, regional development or any other sphere strictly related to the objective of the proposal is eligible for participation.
– Public governmental authorities (national, regional or local) and their associations at European, international, national, regional and local levels, and entities acting on their behalf;
– Educational or training institutions, including universities and research centers;
– Chambers of commerce, industry and handicrafts, or similar bodies and their umbrella associations;
– Travel Agents and Tour Operators (and their associations);
– Non-profit organizations (public or private), NGOs, civil society organizations, foundations, think tanks, umbrella associations, networks / federations of public / private organizations whose main activity falls in the fields of tourism, regional development or in other fields closely related to the themes of the call (disability organizations and charities, organizations that deal with young or seniors, sports or culture);
– Organizations/associations of international, European and national income in the tourism sector and related;
– Federations and associations working in partnerships among neighboring countries with a proven cross-border dimension;
– SMEs operating in the tourism sector;
– National, regional and local tourism, public and private agencies involved in tourism promotion.
The consortia must gather a minimum of 5 different organizations, from at least 4 different eligible States (when applying for Theme 1 and 2) or at least 2 different eligible countries (when applying for Theme 3).
In addition to the 28 EU Member States, applications from countries participating in the COSME programme (Iceland, Moldova, Montenegro and Turkey) are also eligible.
EASME expects to fund approximately 8 project proposals for each Theme.
The EU co-financing rate may cover up to 75% of the eligible costs.
Applicants can act as project coordinators in only one proposal per theme, but may participate as partners in more than one proposal per theme.
Project ideas must be submitted electronically via Participant Portal, within the deadline of 3 June 2015 for all Themes.
All official documents and are available on the webpage of the call: