This online guide highlights the wide range of funding programmes financed by the new budget, multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, and Next Generation EU. With these resources and this guide, we're supporting the move towards a more digital, sustainable and inclusive EU.
The guide will help you find appropriate funding. It contains links to relevant EU programme websites with the latest developments (such as annual work programmes or calls for proposals) and further details per programme. For inspiration, you can also see concrete project examples funded by previous EU programmes. The guide is available in all EU languages via a high-quality machine translation tool.
This guide focuses on practical issues related to the most important EU funding programmes for the tourism sector. Find out about your eligibility, which activities are eligible, the different types of funding, and where to apply & when. For brevity's sake, the guide only covers what is essential to find the relevant programme.
Step 1: Identify the relevant programmes and financial instruments
Find the most relevant programmes through the online guide’s three questions.
- On eligibility: Who can apply?
- On the programme’s topic: Which actions can receive funding?
- On the type of support: What kind of funding is available?
Disclaimer: For some programmes the annual work programme 2022 has not yet been adopted. Therefore, the information in this guide may be subject to future changes.
Step 2: Get familiar with the call-specific forms documentation (online)
Download the information package, usually including a 'guide' with advice on preparation and submission. If the information is not clear to you, feel free to use the dedicated interface (e.g. functional mailbox, online page, etc.).
Step 3: Find partners where useful or required
Some (sub)programmes support cross-border or trans-European projects. You may then need partners based in other EU countries to form a consortium.
Many programme websites or pages advertising a specific call contain a section where potential partners can post their offer or request.
Step 4: Submit your proposal, offer or application on time
- Before you apply: EU funding for beginners | European Commission (europa.eu)
- General information on funding and tenders opportunities | European Commission (europa.eu)
- Find call for proposals & tenders (europa.eu)
- Find your EU funding programme for the environment
- Discover funding opportunities for the cultural and creative sectors
In 2020, the EU introduced a stimulus package worth €2.018 trillion (in current prices). It consists of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021 to 2027 under the multiannual financial framework and NextGenerationEU, a temporary instrument to power the recovery. These resources will be allocated toward the green deal, digitalisation, and unforeseen circumstances.
Actors in the tourism ecosystem may also be eligible.
For feedback on this online Guide on EU funding please contact GROW-G1ec [dot] europa [dot] eu (GROW-G1[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
Local business support
- Enterprise Europe Network – EEN offers SMEs free advice on funding opportunities through a network of local contact points. It also offers the possibility to find partners and create international partnerships. You can also see its 'Tourism and Cultural Heritage Sector Group'.
- Professional organisations may also provide similar support.
Technical assistance for applicants
- European Investment Advisory Hub - EIAH, a contact point for advisory expertise to help projects get funding
- Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions - JASPERS by the European Commission and by the European Investment Bank provides free assistance to local authorities and promoters, especially on project preparation, independent quality reviews and capacity building.
More useful links
Tourism-related calls in funding and tenders from the Single Electronic Data Interchange Area
Selected calls for SME support under the Single Market Programme
- Call for Applications - The I-STARS Grants Scheme for Tourism Businesses: Island Sustainable Tourism Action through Resilient SMEs (SMP-COSME-2021-TOURSME-01 - COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support) - Deadline 25 October 2023 (17:00)
- LookUP - THE SUSTAINABLE TRANSFORMATION PROGRAMME ‘Go Green, Get Digital and Be Resilient’: Supporting Tourism SMEs Triple Transition by Uncovering the Value of Sky as Destination (SMP-COSME-2021-TOURSME-01 - COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support) – Deadline 5 October (17:00)
- TourINN- 2nd Open Call for Innovation of Tourism SMEs : Tourism Innovation Actions and cross-sectoral cooperation in SMEs (TOURINN-01-2020 - Innovation uptake and digitalisation in the tourism sector) – Deadline 12 October 2023 (19:00)
- STAR GROWTH – 2nd Open Call for Tourism SMEs: Sustainable Tools & Activities for Rural tourism and ecotourism SME’s Growth (SMP-COSME-2021-TOURSME-01 - COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support) – Deadline 15 November 2023 (18:00)
- International travel FSTP - REsilience through Sustainable processes and production for the European automotive InduSTry for SMEs working in the Mobility, Transport and Automotive ecosystem to participate in internationalisation acceleration activities organised in non-EU third countries (SMP-COSME-2021-CLUSTER-01 - Euroclusters for Europe's recovery) – different cut-off dates, Deadline 20 December 2024 (12:00)
Selection of future and currently open funding & tenders
- Beyond the state-of-the-art ‘biometrics on the move’ for border checks (HORIZON research and innovation actions, planned opening 29/06/23, HORIZON-CL3-2023-BM-01-03) deadline 23 November 2023 (17:00)
- Data Space for tourism (DIGITAL-2023-CLOUD-DATA-AI-05-DATATOURISM) deadline 23 January 2024 (17:00)
- Data Space for Cultural heritage (DIGITAL-2023-CLOUD-DATA-AI-05-CULTHERITAGE) deadline 23 January (17:00)
- Systemic circular solutions for sustainable tourism (HORIZON Innovation Actions, planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-CircBio-01-4) deadline 22 February 2024 (17:00)
- Advanced user-friendly, compatible, secure identity and travel document management (HORIZON Innovation Actions, HORIZON-CL3-2024-BM-01-02), planned opening date 27 June 2024, deadline 20 November 2024 (17:00)
Examples of calls for skills development (mostly under Erasmus+)
- Several funding opportunities for Erasmus+ focusing on vocational education and training. Other calls support staff mobility with the chance to undertake a learning/professional experience in another country. These opportunities close on different dates in October 2023
- More funding opportunities for industrial ecosystems under the Pact for Skills
Selected calls focussing on innovation and/or sustainability (not tourism-specific)
- Applications are open for the New European Bauhaus Prize. The 2024 prizes will award 20 innovative projects representing sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness (search for inspiring ideas with the keyword “tourism”) deadline 10 November
- Supporting the clean energy transition of European businesses (LIFE-2023-CET-BUSINESS) deadline 16 November 2023 (17:00)
- Integrated services for clean energy transition in buildings and businesses (LIFE-2023-CET-OSS) deadline 16 November 2023 (17:00)
- Project Development Assistance for sustainable energy investments (LIFE-2023-CET-PDA) deadline 16 November 2023 (17:00)
- Europe’s cultural heritage and arts – promoting our values at home and abroad (HORIZON Innovation Actions, HORIZON-CL2-2024-HERITAGE-01-04) deadline 7 February 2024 (17:00)
- Cultural and creative industries for a sustainable climate transition (HORIZON Innovation Actions, HORIZON-CL2-2024-HERITAGE-01-02) deadline 7 February 2024 (17:00)
- New European Bauhaus - Research and innovation on cultural heritage and CCIs - 2024 (HORIZON-CL2-2024-HERITAGE-01) deadline 7 February 2024 (17:00)
- Unlock the potential of the New European Bauhaus in urban food system transformation (HORIZON innovation actions, planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-COMMUNITIES-01-1) deadline 22 February 2024 (17:00)
- Preventing and reducing food waste to reduce environmental impacts and to help reach 2030 climate targets (planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-FARM2FORK-01-8) deadline 22 February 2024 (17:00)
- Participation and empowerment of Arctic coastal, local, and indigenous communities in environmental decision-making (HORIZON lump sum grant, planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-COMMUNITIES-01-3) deadline 22 February 2024 (17:00)
- Societal perceptions and benefits of rural life and jobs: will COVID 19 generate a long-lasting shift? (HORIZON action grant budget-based, planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-COMMUNITIES-01-2) deadline 22 February 2024 (17:00)
- Additional activities for the European Partnership for a climate-neutral, sustainable and productive blue economy (HORIZON Programme co-funded actions, planned opening 17/10/23, HORIZON-CL6-2024-GOVERNANCE-01-1) deadline 28 February 2024 (17:00)
- Call for expression of interest for new partnerships with other regions linked to their smart specialisation strategy in 4 thematic areas (including sustainable blue economy). Applications continually open, cut-off dates in June and September 2023.
Last updated: 6 October 2023
Creative Europe is the European Union's programme for support to the cultural and creative sectors, including the audiovisual sector.
The Digital Europe work programme, which runs from 2021 to 2022, shapes and supports the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy. Its ultimate goal is to support the strategic autonomy of the EU single market.
Erasmus+ is the EU programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport. These are key areas that support citizens in their personal and professional development.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD or so-called Second Pillar) supports the vibrancy and economic viability of rural communities through rural development measures.
The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), launched in 2007, helps people find new jobs through further education or training or helps them start their own business.
The fund supports actions and investments that contribute to the protection of aquatic biodiversity and to sustainable and low-impact fishing and aquaculture activities. It also promotes the supply of quality and healthy seafood products to European consumers.
In order to strengthen the environmental, socioeconomic sustainability and resilience of tourism in the long term, regions and countries are encouraged to help transform the sector by learning from innovative solutions.
The ESF+ has a total budget of over €99 billion. It invests in people, creating and protecting job opportunities, promoting social inclusion, fighting poverty and developing the skills needed for the digital and green transition.
Research and innovation framework programme, running from 2021-27. It has a budget of around €95.5 billion for 2021-27 (in current prices), including €5.4 billion from NextGenEU to boost the economic recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, and €4 billion reinforcement.
The InvestEU programme will promote investments to strengthen tourism’s competitiveness, sustainability, and value chains. It will facilitate sustainable, innovative and digital measures, which could help reduce the sector’s climate and environmental footprint.
The Fund aims to reduce the social and economic costs resulting from the transition to an EU climate-neutral economy by supporting diversification of economic activity, creating new business opportunities and helping people adapt to a changing labour market.
Funds projects in environment and climate action. Tourism activities related to green transition can benefit from the programme. Particularly tourism projects supporting the circular economy, energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, as well as climate-neutrality may be eligible.
As a part of the NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU provides additional €50.6 billion (in current prices) for assistance aimed at fostering development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social consequences, as well as preparing a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the centrepiece of Europe’s recovery plan, NextGenerationEU. It finances reforms and investments in EU countries from the start of the pandemic in February 2020 until 31 December 2026.
Aims to provide EU countries the tools to recover and repair from the Covid-19 crisis. The final objective is to make the Single Market stronger and more resilient. Annex 2 focuses on improving the competitiveness of enterprises, particularly SMEs, and supporting their access to markets.
Projects financed by EBRD address a wide area of sustainable practices and associated market trends in tourism. Out of the EBRD’s 39 countries of operation, 12 are located within the EU. There are 3 programmes with specific relevance to the tourism sector.
The European Investment Bank is the lending arm of the European Union. The EIB offers loans, guarantees, equity investments and advisory services and operates both in the EU and around the world.