EU RURAL TOURISM: open call for tourism SMEs

DEADLINE: 10 September 2023

This call addresses specifically the needs of rural tourism micro and nano SMEs and how to cover them under the Cluster concept. Such SMEs respond to the following profile:

● Micro businesses run by individuals or by a family, with a history of operation covering at least 3 years and have a maximum of 10 employees.

● Located in the countryside, or in villages or towns in rural areas.

● Accommodation providers (agritourism, farm tourism, small hotel, guest house, holiday cottage, etc). Priority will be given to providers offering extra services such as food service (breakfast, half/full board), nature or farm activities, classes (culinary, crafts), guided tours, etc.

● Proof of commitment to participate in the programme by a letter explaining the reasons.

This Call is open to SMEs that comply with the following NACE classifications:

● 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).

The official registration certificate provided by responsible national tourism authorities for one of the above is sufficient even if it does not contain the NACE classification code.

Participation is limited to the SMEs established in the following EU member states or their regions and third countries participating in the COSME programme or their regions as follows, under the condition that at least one external Assistance Service Provider (ASP) per category of service (digital, green and sustainable management, soft/social skills) has responded to the ASP Call and has been approved by the Consortium:

● Belgium - Wallonia

● Bosnia-Herzegovina

● 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

Totally 190 SMEs are foreseen to be supported. Preference to receive the package of FSTP will be given to up to 10 SMEs per country. In Italy, Spain and Greece, the number of SMEs that will receive the package of FSTP may be up to 30 SMEs as national and cross-national partners operate in these countries. This maximum number of SMEs per country may be increased in a few cases, depending on the interest shown by SMEs in the above listed countries/regions.

Submission process

Participation in this call for proposals is completely free of charge for SMEs. This call is published for 65 days on: European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP), Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T), EuroCluster Rural Tourism website (ECRT), each Consortium Partner's individual website and Euroclusters’ and Consortium Partners’ social media channels, tagging EISMEA, the Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) and the European Cluster Collaboration Platform.

If call deadlines are changed, they will be published immediately on the call page and all potential applicants will be informed.

The application form is available on the following website:… and can be submitted only through this web page. You can find in the same page a copy of the application form (Annex I). Only one application per applicant can be submitted. Different applications or multiple submissions of the same application by the same applicant will be rejected, and the most recent application will be used.

The Application Form (Annex I) has to be filled ONLINE and will be checked for eligibility.

The following should be attached with the application:

-registration of the business with tourism authorities or chamber of commerce;

-personal data of the legal representative (copy of ID or passport), this person must be coincident with the name that appears in the registration of the business with tourism authorities;

-CV with list of projects and experiences from core staff;

-duly signed declaration form (ANNEX II of the Call for SME).

Proposals will be submitted online in ENGLISH. A summary of the call for SME and the translation of the application form will be available in any of the languages covered by the EuroCluster Rural Tourism (EN as transversal language, CZ, ES, FR, GR, IT, RO) inside the Project website as well as in each Consortium Partner’s website. All legal documents (registration, ID) and any other relevant supporting materials can be uploaded in the national language of the proposer. An acknowledgement receipt shall be provided upon reception.

After the date and time of closure of the call, modifications to an already filed application will be rejected. New applications will be accepted for a waiting list, to be used only if the number of SMEs approved for support is below the assigned Budget. Applicants shall be informed by an automatic email reply.

Further information about applications: Questions may be sent by e-mail no later than 7 days before the deadline for the submission of applications to the following e-mail address [email protected], indicating clearly the reference of the Call for participation and the question. The EuroCluster Rural Tourism Project Consortium partners have no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date. Replies will be given no later than 5 days before the deadline for the submission of applications. The application shall be completed exclusively online at this link . Paper/printed versions submitted by post or other means will not be accepted. Hand-written applications will not be accepted.

The Call will open on 7 July 2023.

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News/Events Section Digital Green Euroclusters
Enterprise Europe Network DG GROW European Innovation Council
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