Simply put, TOURISME fundamentally wants to promote the adaptation of European tourism SMEs towards more sustainable, low-carbon and resource-efficient business models.
To face these challenges, TOURISME project wants to foster SMEs’ capacities and skills to explore and take up solutions through a reinforced transnational and cross-sectoral collaboration among tourism SMEs and operators from different sectors. Specifically, the project will offer the following activities to its beneficiaries in order to allow them to boost their environmental performance:
Scaling-up the SMES’ activities and building capacity within their companies through knowledge transfer, exchanges and collaboration with other SMEs, business accelerators, incubators, development agencies and other tourism industry stakeholders across sectors and nations.
Taking up innovative solutions that boost sustainable practices and circular business models, addressing the growing consumer demand for an eco-friendlier tourism experience and understanding the financial implications and cost saving opportunities.
Accessing certification schemes and other EC initiatives that promote sustainable tourism and that leads to competitive advantages, such as EMAS, EDEN and EU Ecolabel.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE?
TOURISME oversees a set of project activities to achieve its objectives. The starting point will involve the development and enrichment of a knowledge base to identify and further exploit the key drivers of sustainable growth within the tourism industry, paying special attention to the target sectors, as well as a mapping of best practices from SMEs around Europe. This work will result in the development of a compendium of best practices for potential replicability and which will set the basis for the formulation of transnational and cross-sectoral schemes. These schemes will be built around 3 core activities, involving face-to-face trainings and webinars for capacity building and knowledge transfer, matchmaking events for transnational and cross-sectoral cooperation as well as knowledge transfer, and training and mentoring to promote the implementation of environmental certifications and other sustainability initiatives.
Face-to-face and online capacity building trainings and mentoring
In each of the supporting countries, two face-to-face trainings and two webinars will be organized. This activity aims at to increase the skills and capacity of the SMEs for sustainable growth through dedicated trainings on different topics, such as energy efficiency, resources consumption, circular solutions, waste management, eco-design, green procurement, mobility or social innovation. Depending on the country, each SME will receive financial support of €350-€500 in form of Training Vouchers.
This activity aims at creating synergies business-to-business (B2B) to facilitate the exchange of good practices among SMEs and technology and sustainable solutions providers, fostering networking and technical cooperation from the same sector and across sectors, which will be consolidated through partnerships. Two matchmaking events will be organized in each supporting country, where each supported SME will receive €1.450-€2.000, depending on the country, to participate in each event through Matchmaking Vouchers.
This activity aims specifically at promoting environmental certifications and other EC initiatives, such as EMAS, EU eco-label, ETIS or EDEN. In synergy with the first activity, two additional face-toface trainings and webinars, as well as tailored mentoring and advisory will be carried out. Each participating SME will receive €350-500, depending on the country, via Training Vouchers.
Training materials will be produced around different topics such as consumption trends, energy efficiency, resources consumption, circular solutions, waste management, eco-design, mobility or social innovation.
Once the schemes would been designed, an open Call for SMEs will be drafted and launched. Following a defined criterion, at 62 SMEs will be selected to participate and benefit from the schemes, coming from Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Italy and other EU member states. Nevertheless, before implementing the schemes, a benchmarking analysis of their current status regarding sustainability will be performed in order to later determine the impact of the schemes. In this way, a 12-month implementation and monitoring phase will take place through the 3 core activities mentioned above, followed by an assessment of the SMEs’ performance on the uptake of sustainable solutions and capacity building. The methodology applied and results achieved in TOURISME, highlighting the best performing SMEs and overall success stories, will eventually be compiled in a set of guidelines for enhanced sustainability in tourism SMEs which is expected to strengthen the project’s replication potential.