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SMP – COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support – 2021

The Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME) under the Single Market Programme (SMP) 2021-2027 aims to promote growth and to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises in the European Union and beyond. The Single Market Programme aims at improving the functioning of the internal market, the competitiveness and sustainability of enterprises, and consumers' protection.

12.42 million euro

Appeal framework

Institution European Commission
Sectors Tourism
Beneficiaries All beneficiaries
Regions Balkans, Candidate countries, European Economic Area, European Union

Countries associated to the COSME part of the Single Market Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature are equally eligible for the grant.

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Priorities and funded actions


  • To support tourism SMEs in developing their skills and capacities in sustainable tourism, whilst creating sustainability strategies in line with the needs and priorities of their territory;
  • To provide capacity building, value chain insights and technical assistance to SMEs, by applying European sustainability frameworks and tools (such as Environmental footprint methods, EMAS and EU Ecolabel);
  • To develop a monitoring framework which regularly collects and makes available data on the sustainability performance of the SMEs, in a feasible manner that is interoperable with national statistics systems;
  • To foster innovative solutions for sustainable tourism, which can provide business and destinations with heightened resilience to shocks, enhanced social, economic and environmental awareness and responsibility;
  • To build effective mechanisms for best practice exchange and dissemination of transferable tools and knowledge between the SMEs, also at a European level.


  • Priority 1: Tourism linked with the preservation of natural heritage and biodiversity;
  • Priority 2: The development of agro-tourism, sport tourism, rural tourism and ecotourism, with particular attention to slow tourism across seasons, and in connection with respecting the authenticity and well-being of host communities;
  • Priority 3: The development and support of cultural tourism in connection with both material and non-material cultural heritage.

Among financed actions

  • Dissemination and communication activities;
  • Capacity building activities:
    • organisation of online and offline trainings, workshops, study visits, awareness raising activities;
    • production of training and educational materials, webinars;
    • business to business matchmaking, peer learning, knowledge sharing;
    • organisation of activities to strengthen cooperation of involved tourism SMEs within the tourism ecosystem.
  • Direct support activities for individual tourism SMEs:
    • technical assistance to SMEs performing PEF/OEF studies or applying for sustainability/environmental certification, such as EU Ecolabel or EMAS;
    • mapping of specific needs of target tourism SMEs involved in the project, to improve their development of a sustainability strategy and practices related to sustainable tourism;
    • consultancy for business development, fitness, and regulatory compliance checks;
    • coaching and mentoring services.
  • Project management activities:
    • selection of tourism SMEs for participation in the project’s support scheme;
    • reporting on the results of project activities.

Additional information

  • This call for proposals is an open call for proposals.
  • Initial duration of the action: between 25 and 36 months.


  • Be a legal entity (public or private);
  • Be established in one of the eligible countries;
  • Proposals must be submitted by a trans-national consortium composed by:
    • minimum 5 and maximum 8 entities from 5 different eligible countries,
    • minimum 1 business support organisation (BSO),
    • minimum 1 destination management organisation (DMO) involved in and dealing with sustainability as applied to the tourism sector.
  • Total amount of this call: 12.42 million euro
  • Amount of the grant: between 900,000 euro and 1.2 million euro
  • Maximum amount of financial support to each third party: 10,000 euro
  • Co-financing rate: up to 100% of the total eligible costs

Test your eligibility

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