Project funded by the European Commission under the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) led by the Executive Agency for the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EISMEA).

Fostering digitalisation of European Tourism SMEs

Digitalisation has the potential to boost innovation, to generate economic and environmental efficiencies and increase productivity. At the same time, it brings unprecedented opportunities for tourism SMEs such as the development of new products and services, processes, access to new markets and improved customer experience. 

The European project TOURBIT (‘Fostering digitalisation of European tourism SMEs’) understands that digitalisation opens opportunities but, like other global forces of the industry, poses many challenges to tourism SMEs.

In that sense, TOURBIT’s main objective is to foster skills and capacity and boosting the uptake of digitalisation and innovation, promoting resilient and competitive SMEs and spurring a faster transformation of the European tourism sector.

The TOURBIT partnership is a public and private alliance of complementary 8 organisations covering 7 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) that will work on the activities and objectives of the project until June 2024:

- Catalan Tourist Board - Spain (Catalonia) - Coordinator
- Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation - Spain (Catalonia)
- Welcome City Lab by PARIS&CO - France  
- ARCTUR DOO (lead of Tourism 4.0) - Slovenia
- Cluster hosted by - Belgium
- Iceland Tourism Cluster - Iceland
- Lapland University of Applied Sciences - Finland
- NEST - Tourism Innovation Center - Portugal

The project relies on a transnational and cross-ecosystem support scheme based on a framework of three pillars ‘Learning, Building, Testing and Implementing’ whose goal it is to enable tourism SMEs to cultivate necessary capabilities to thrive in the digital age.

Tourism SMEs will start their journey of digital transformation with the ‘Digital Readiness Index’, an online self-assessment tool that will enable them to assess their state of digitalisation and recommend actions to boost it. They will LEARN more about technology tools and innovative solutions thanks to a complete programme of webinars.

Connexion, knowledge and collaboration between tourism SMEs and key players from the tourism, technology, and start-ups sectors will be encouraged through an online community on Tourism Innovation. Co-creating workshops and a virtual hackathon with the participation of stakeholders across Europe will complete the BUILD pillar.

Finally, as part of the TEST AND IMPLEMENT pillar, TOURBIT will also financially support 62 tourism SMEs from the 7 destinations involved in the framework of the Digital Acceleration Programme (Call for proposals).

The TOURBIT project has an overall budget of 1,331,570€ (out of which 520,000€ will be forwarded to tourism SMEs) and is co-funded up to a maximum of 75% through COSME- Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Contact person: Leonie Hehn