96 tourism SMEs coming from Italy, Spain, France, Cyprus, Greece, and Hungary (n. 16 SMEs per country) have been finally selected as the target group of the beneficiaries that will join the ECOTOURS experience and take part to this exciting journey.
Through transnational cooperation, peer learning and capacity building, the ECOTOURS project will build up circular tourism ecosystems engaging also local key actors and communities in a cohesive and collaborative way in order create a supportive system to tourism SMEs, with a focus on how circular economy principles and standards.
Moving towards a circular economy offers new business development opportunities not only in the tourism sector, but also in further sectors that are interlinked to tourism, such as agriculture, fishery, food, energy, manufacturing, transports, culture and arts.
The final selection of the n. 96 SMEs is part of the selection process conducted upon the launch of open call on 10th May and closed on 10th August 2023, for collecting candidature from tourism SMEs coming from the selected country.
The evaluation process on the applications received was based on specific criteria as described in the Open call guide. After the review conducted by each evaluation committee per country partner, n. 16 tourism SMEs have been selected according a ranking list.
In line with the open call, the project ECOTOURS enhances the capacity of tourism’s SMEs and community tourism’s ecosystems to promote circular tourism and to uptake environmental principles, practices and standards in their businesses. Overall, the project contributes to turn marginal coastal and rural areas that are experiencing an economic slowdown, into circular, green and sustainable tourist destinations that offer significant travel experiences based on people to people exchange, holistic discovery of territory, its natural environment and biodiversity, its cultural and traditional heritage, while at the same time promoting sustainability principles and practices, fostering environmental protection, the reduction of wastes and natural resources consumption (energy, water, soil, biodiversity), the use of clean energy and green transport means, the recycling and reuse of materials/products, the promotion of locally based food and craft productions.
By supporting the transition of SMEs and community ecosystems in the tourism sector to a green, digital and circular economy, the project is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy action plan. In this frame, the project contributes to the implementation of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan, by engaging tourism SMEs and community ecosystems in the transition to a stronger circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way.
Here, there is the list of the final tourism SMEs selected per country partner: