NewsThe European project “FU-TOURISM” will support the transition of European tourism SMEs towards a green, digital, and inclusive economy

The European project “FU-TOURISM” will support the transition of European tourism SMEs towards a green, digital, and inclusive economy

  • Funded with €4million by the COSME programm and with a duration of 36 months, Fu-Tourism seeks to establish a solid ecosystem that will provide a lasting impact on the tourism sector, promoting its resilience to future challenges and aligning with the objectives of the EU’s European Green Deal
  • An acceleration program will identify and support a total of 102 tourism SMEs from the six European countries that are part of the project: Spain, Greece, Croatia, Belgium, Austria, and Poland

Supporting European tourism SMEs in their transition towards a green, digital and inclusive economy, while focusing on the application of the principles of the regenerative economy. This is the main objective of the European project “FU-TOURISM – Future Ready Business Support Ecosystem for Tourism SME Transition to Green and Digital Resilience” which has just started. Funded with 4 million euros by the COSME program and a duration of 36 months (3 years), the project involves several partners from several European countries: Croatia, Spain, Greece, Poland, Austria, Belgium and Italy. 

FU-TOURISM will develop a support ecosystem for tourism SMEs, promoting greater cooperation in innovation between these companies and incubators and accelerators in the sector. To this end, it will launch an acceleration program that will identify and support a total of 102 SMEs. 

During the acceleration program, 10 SMEs from each country will be selected transparently and openly to receive 5-month support and a grant of 20,000 euros. In addition, the Scaling Up program will select 42 SME consortia (7 per country) to receive a grant of 30,000 euros and related to business support. 

Tourism SME Transition Living Labs

Coordinated by Eupolis (Croatia), the project has partners from seven countries: Finnova (Belgium), Envolve (Greece), SYNYO (Austria) Vestbee (Poland) and Open Impact (Italy). 

One of the main pillars of the FU-TOURISM project is the development of a platform and a network of a 4-helix Collaborative Clusters, known as Living Labs for the Transition of Tourism SMEs.

These clusters will enable SMEs to be placed at the centre of the tourism ecosystem, adopting a multi-stakeholder approach that takes into account the broader needs of the destination, visitors and local citizens. 

In the context of the European Union, the COSME Program has proven to be a driver of development for business and SMEs in Europe. FU-TOURISM is part of the list of projects funded by COSME between 2021 and 2027, standing out as a joint effort to boost economic growth, and job creation and foster business competitiveness on the continent. 

Unique opportunity to transform the tourism sector

FU-TOURISM not only represents an opportunity for European tourism SMEs, but also for the unique UNESCO tourist destinations; the Town of Porec-Parenzo, a UNESCO Heritage City, and the City of Valencia, European Green Capital 2024, which will be part of the program’s pilot projects. 

These destinations will test the overall Destinatino Management Organizations (DMOs) strategy and support for tourism SMEs, supported by EUPOLIS, which will integrate the Tourism Impact Model (TIM) and the Digital Readiness Index (DRI) to measure and report on the sustainability and digital transition of SMEs and destinations. 

The FU-TOURISM project, aligned with the objectives of the European Green Pact and the EU Digital Single Market, presents a unique opportunity to transform the tourism sector toward a greener, more resilient and digitized model.