Call for Tourism SMEs - CLOSED
The EuroCluster Rural Tourism is looking for Micro- and Nano SMEs that are in the tourism sector and are based in any EU member state or third country participating in the COSME programme and are interested in improving digital, eco-sustainability, and soft/social skills.
The project has total funding of 950,000 Euros, and selected SMEs will receive financial support in the form of a service pack valued at 5,000 Euros. The objective is to assist them in designing and developing new tourism products for international markets, incorporating digital, sustainable, and socio-cultural improvements.
The Financial Support program will commence in October 2023 and last for 9 months. During this period, participating SMEs will work closely with qualified consultants (ASPs) from EU member states or third countries participating in the COSME program. These consultants will provide technical assistance and guidance to bridge the digital, eco-sustainability, and soft/social skills gap.
The interested enterprises have to fall under the following NACE classification:
- Hotels and similar accommodation (I5510)
- Holiday and other short-stay accommodation (I5520)
- Camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks (I5530)
- Travel agency, tour operator reservation service, and related activities (N79)
Only SMEs from the following countries or regions can apply:
Belgium-Wallonie, Bosnia-Herzegóvina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Romania-Harghita, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain-Aragón, Cataluña, La Rioja, Navarra
The official registration certificate provided by responsible national tourism authorities for any of the above classifications is sufficient, even if it does not contain the NACE classification code.
SMEs will have the opportunity to choose and improve at least 4 out of the following 12 action areas:
- Digitalization of processes in SMEs
- Digital marketing and promotion
- Marketing intelligence and data analysis, Marketing strategy based on data
Green and Sustainable
- Sustainable management practices for SMEs
- CO2 management and reduction to address climate change
- Sustainable mobility
- Gastronomy and food based on local supply chains
- Social-cultural skills (interaction with visitors from different cultural backgrounds)
- Experience generation for visitors (development of corresponding products)
- Inclusive tourism for visitors with special needs
- Integration with the local community
- Interpretation techniques for cultural, historical, natural resources
The call for Tourism SMEs will remain open until the 10th of September 2023. After the evaluation period of one month, ECRT will publish the list of selected SMEs who will receive financial support. You can find the list on the official ECRT website. Moreover, ECRT will also share the list on their social media channels.
Call for Expression of Interest for Service Providers - OPEN
The EuroCluster Rural Tourism is looking for qualified consultants (individual experts, companies or other organisations, informal consortia) based in any EU member state or third country participating in the COSME programme, to provide technical assistance to rural SMEs.
The consultants will offer a full technical assistance pack to enable the 190 rural tourism SMEs participating in the project to design and develop new tourism products for international markets by integrating digital, green/sustainable and socio-cultural improvements in their business.
The consultants will be paid by the rural tourism SMEs which will be selected to be the beneficiaries of the project. The selected SMEs will be entitled to receive a voucher valued indicatively at an average of EUROS 5,000, to meet the cost of professional assistance.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- Can one Assistance Service Provider (ASP) provide technical advice and support to rural tourism SMEs in more fields than one?
An ASP (individual experts, organisations/ companies, informal consortia) can provide specialist support in more than one field as long as they can support their claim with proof of competence for each field separately. The required qualifications for each field are listed in the call for ASP.
- In the case of more fields for one ASP – each field has 10 – 15 days available? Or 10 – 15 days are for one ASP for more fields together?
We have estimated around 10-12 days for the whole consultancy pack, the recommended calculation are 3-4 days for the overall management / frame (first assessment, on-site visit, improvement plan, final visit, meetings) and 7-9 days of specific expert advisory service.
- How many hours for technical advice and support is for one day?
All project outcomes are measured by results, not by official dedication in time, and we will not ask for timesheets.
- Which countries will be included in the Call for SMEs?
The call for SME's will be open to countries that have ASPs covering all four areas of specialist support, either by seperate experts or by single entities (official or unoffical consortia) and the local language is spoken by the experts.
- How will advisory services be coordinated?
In the countries where we have a regional or national consortium member (ES, IT, RO, CZ) the coordination between different individual ASP will be done by this partner in their territory. In other regions or countries, the expert or entity responsible for the Area 1 - Business Mentoring shall establish the improvement plan in case of individual expert ASP. Within this, it defines the days for each of the other areas and then assumes the coordination