COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support | Deadline: 16 February 2022

Deadline: 16 February 2022
Budget: 12,420,000 EUR
Countries:  France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain


  • Tourism


This call for proposals is part of the overall COVID-19 recovery strategy for a sustainable tourism ecosystem, whilst being in line with the priorities of the European Commission`s SME strategy and the updated European Industrial Strategy.

The general objective of the call is to monitor the sustainability performance of SMEs in the tourism sector, whilst boosting their awareness, development and capacity in the area of sustainable innovations.

The call aims:

  • 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 framework37 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

The call aims to promote sustainability strategies and innovations for sustainability, such as the following themes:

  • Tourism linked with the preservation of natural heritage and biodiversity;
  • 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;
  • The development and support of cultural tourism in connection with both material and non-material cultural heritage


Activities to be funded:

  • The proposal has to describe how the consortium will organise and provide direct support to tourism SMEs, to build their capacities in developing and implementing sustainability strategies for their company. The tourism SMEs benefitting from financial support will not form part of the consortium.
  • The taking up of internationally recognised sustainability/environmental certification and/or specific assessment tools may be included. Consortia are encouraged to promote participation in the relevant EU Certification Schemes (namely EU Ecolabel and EMAS), as also evidenced in the Award Criteria, although other certification schemes will be considered as well.
  • The actions proposed are expected to facilitate cross-border/transnational cooperation to foster peer to peer learning as well as to support collecting and exchanging knowledge and innovative practices, addressing particularly the vulnerabilities generated and accentuated by COVID-19

Each proposal must directly support (including financial support) a minimum of eighty (80) tourism SMEs from a minimum of three (3) eligible countries


COVID-19 Recovery Through Sustainable Tourism Growth and SME Support (SMP-COSME-2021-TOURSME)

More information: Call fiche