The new “SMARTIES for SMEs” project is underway: support for the double transition of tourism businesses

The first Transnational Meeting of the “SMARTIES for SMEs” project was held today at the Pisa headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce North-West Tuscany. The project, lasting three years, brings together 8 partners from 6 European countries (Italy, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, Portugal, and Cyprus):

  1. Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts, Agriculture Northwest Tuscany (lead partner), Italy
  2. Xanthi Chamber of Commerce, Greece
  3. Libertas International University, Croatia
  4. Regional Chamber of Crafts and Small Enterprises of Maribor, Slovenia
  5. ACIF – Commercial and Industrial Association of Funchal – Chamber of Commerce of Madeira (Portugal)
  6. International Association the Phoenicians’ Route, with headquarters in Italy, guarantor of the Cultural Route of the same name
  7. Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, Cyprus
  8. ENIT – National Tourism Board, Italy

The Chamber of Commerce North-West Tuscany is supported by the company Timesis srl for activities relating to the technical and financial management of the project.

SMARTIES for SMEs: Pills of Sustainable, Smart, Regenerative Tourism to Empower SMEs in the EU Mediterranean area” project (COSME SMP-COSME-2022-TOURSME), funded by the COSME Programme of the European Union with a total budget of 3 million euros,  is aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs in the tourism sector, developing their capabilities to carry out the double green and digital transition and promote innovation, resilience, sustainability and quality along the tourism value chain in the Mediterranean region of the EU. It focuses on 2 thematic areas:

  1. Regenerative tourism, i.e., tourist offer that respects the authenticity of the local territory and contributes to the well-being of local communities, applying and further developing the Smart Way, a model developed by the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe “The Phoenicians’ Route” and already applied in many areas of the Mediterranean
  2. The synergy between the tourism and the agri-food ecosystems for the development of a sustainable tourist offer, promoting the Mediterranean Diet as a model of food sustainability in the tourism sector.

The project makes 375,000 euros available for innovative projects that allow companies in the tourism sector to be more sustainable from an environmental, social, and economic point of view. The funded projects will have a maximum amount of 25,000 euros each, and the possibility of benefiting from the mentoring offered by local partners, as well as being disseminated internationally as good practices. The funds are allocated to 75 innovative projects, in five territories of the Mediterranean area: the Italian area of “North-West Tuscany” and four other areas identified in the partner countries Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Slovenia.

The project – Valter Tamburini, President of the Chamber of Commerce North-West Tuscany says – represents an opportunity for tourism businesses to exploit the opportunities offered by the double green and digital transition. Through appropriate actions that start from a needs analysis, through training and capacity building activities, and thanks to significant financial and technical support, we want to sustain businesses in the creation of a tourist offer respecting authenticity and at the same time contribute to the well-being of the communities located in the same territories of companies.”

In addition to the 4 Chambers of Commerce and the Pafos Regional Tourism Board, the project also involves the Libertas University of Zagreb for its scientific and methodological contribution, ENIT – National Tourism Board for the activities of communication and promotion on international scale and the Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, providing its innovative strategic know-how for the technical part. The capacity building activity of the Phoenicians’ Route (11 meetings and 5 online webinars) is aimed not only at the areas benefiting from the project, but also other pilot areas that are part of the Phoenicians’ Route (Andalusia (Spain); Istria (Croatia); Marche, Sardinia, Sicily, Apulia region (Italy); Albania, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia).