Why is it relevant to tourism?
The SMP Work Programme 2023 aims to make the Single Market stronger and more resilient. Among its objectives is to improve the competitiveness of enterprises, particularly SMEs and their access to markets. The 2023 work programme is composed of 5 annexes, which are aligned with the overall objectives of the SMP. Annex 2 details the SME pillar in this programme.
The SMP aims to boost the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs, including in the tourism sector. One important pillar of the SMP aims to foster the competitiveness, capacity building and sustainability of these enterprises.
Here are some examples of relevant calls for tourism under Annex 2 of the 2022 and 2023 Work Programmes:
- Sustainable growth and building resilience in tourism: empowering SMEs to carry out the twin transition
The initiative aims to help the tourism ecosystem recover by supporting companies in their digital and green transformations. This included working through groups of tourism organisations as intermediaries.
Assistance is provided to boost innovation, resilience, sustainability and quality along the tourism value chain. Financial support may also be provided. For example to SMEs and through B2B matchmaking.
- European Capital and Green Pioneers of smart tourism
This project promotes smart and sustainable tourism in the EU, increases the visibility of destinations, and facilitates the exchange of best practices through networks.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in 4 categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation and cultural heritage and creativity.
The European Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism - successor of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) competition - rewards smaller destinations that have implemented successful strategies to boost sustainable tourism through green transition practices.
- Promoting trans-European products in third countries
The overall objective of the grant to the European Travel Commission is to
- rebuild the image of Europe as a safe and secure tourist destination
- support the recovery of EU tourism and maintain its share of the world market
- better disperse and diversify tourism flows in terms of geography and seasons, while taking into account the needs and aspirations of local residents.
- Its specific objective is to support the Joint Promotion Platform for Destination Europe (JPP) by contributing to a series of large marketing campaigns with EU support. They are carried out in cooperation with national/regional tourism promotion bodies.
- These campaigns will combine web content with social media, broad outreach and public relations through media partnerships, attending tourism trade exhibitions and familiarisation trips.
- Market intelligence reports may also be produced to highlight recovery opportunities for the European tourism ecosystem. In addition, training may be provided on how to enter new markets or increase one’s presence in traditional segments.
The SMP has a budget of €4.2 billion for the 2021-2027 period. It focuses on the following main areas:
- improving governance of the internal market
- strengthening the competitiveness of EU industries, especially SMEs
- promoting human, animal and plant health, along with animal welfare
- establishing the framework for European statistics
The SMP combines activities from predecessor programmes with new initiatives to preserve the correct functioning of the internal market, even under challenging circumstances.
These examples are taken from the COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ) programme; a predecessor of the SMP.
Project Title: TOURISME
Description: This project promotes the green transition of SMEs. It covers hotels and other similar accommodation, short stay accommodation, travel agencies and booking services for travellers with related activities. A total of 65 European SMEs will benefit from this project.
Total budget: €1,322,050.93
Project Title: ECOTANDEM
Description:The ECO-TANDEM PROGRAMME is co-funded by the European Union to boost sustainable tourism development through transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer.
This project is about encouraging traditional tourism SMEs and tourism) innovative startups (including non-tourism companies) and innovators for a mutual benefit corporation (hence the “tandem” concept). The scope is to scout innovative solutions for helping traditional SMEs to adopt a more eco-sustainable approach in the tourism industry.
Project title: TOURBAN
Description: this project supports urban tourism SMEs in becoming more competitive and sustainable from an environmental, economic and social point of view. It provides them with skills, capacity, and financial resources they need to become catalysts for innovation and sustainability. Tourban also aims to reduce costs and resource consumption, and increase revenue streams through improved visibility and positioning for the SMEs.