EU RURAL TOURISM: 2nd Open Call for tourism SMEs

EuroCluster Rural Tourism Project aims to support 190 SMEs in the tourism sector. The project has a total funding of 950,000 Euros, and selected SMEs will receive financial support in the form of a service pack valued at an average of 5,000 Euros. The objective is to assist SMEs in designing and developing new tourism products for international markets, incorporating digital, sustainable, and socio-cultural improvements.

Action acronym: EU Rural Tourism

Action grant agreement number: 101074557

Action full name: Eurocluster Rural Tourism

Call identifier: SMP-COSME-2021-CLUSTER

Project Timeline and Support

The 2nd Financial Support program will commence in January 2024 and last for 5 months. During this period, participating SMEs will work closely with qualified consultants from EU member states or third countries participating in the COSME program. These consultants will provide technical assistance and guidance to bridge the digital, eco-sustainability, and soft/social skills gap.

  • SMEs will have the opportunity to choose and improve at least 4 out of the following 12 action areas:


           Digitalization of processes in SMEs

           Digital marketing and promotion

           Marketing intelligence and data analysis, Marketing strategy based on data

    Green and Sustainable

           Sustainable management practices for SMEs

           CO2 management and reduction to address climate change

           Sustainable mobility

           Gastronomy and food based on local supply chains


    ●   Social-cultural skills (interaction with visitors from different cultural backgrounds)

           Experience generation for visitors (development of corresponding products)

           Inclusive tourism for visitors with special needs

           Integration with the local community

           Interpretation techniques for cultural, historical, natural resources

    The support provided to SMEs includes capacity building events, self-assessment, on-site audits, mentoring, technical advice, budget for additional external services, final evaluation, and follow-up visits by experts.

  • This Call is open to SMEs that fall under the following NACE[4] classifications:

    • Accommodation (I55)
    • Travel agency, tour operator reservation service, and related activities (N79)
    • Other NACE coders or in general other activities (where NACE codes does not exist) referred to the rural tourism

    The official registration certificate provided by responsible national tourism authorities for any of the above classifications is sufficient, even if it does not contain the NACE classification code.

    Participation is limited to SMEs established in the following EU member states or their regions, as well as third countries participating in the COSME program or their regions:

    Belgium: Wallonia Bosnia-Herzegovina Estonia Georgia
    Greece Ireland Italy The Netherlands
    North Macedonia Romania: Harghita Slovenia Spain: Aragón, Cataluña, La Rioja, Navarra

    Consortium and Partners

    The EuroCluster Rural Tourism Project consortium consists of six partners based in different countries:

           Venetian Cluster - Italy

           Czech National Cluster Association - Czech Republic

           Asociatia de Dezvoltare Intercomunitara Harghita - Romania

           Asociación Cluster De Turismo Sostenible de Aragón - Spain

           Federation Europeenne de Tourisme Rural (Ruraltour) - France

           EURACADEMY Association - Greece

    Additional Information

    To apply for the project, interested SMEs, represented by their legal representatives, need to submit their applications online[1] through the Cluster Submission Platform.

    The application deadline is 16 January 2024, 17:00 Brussels time. The ONLINE application process requires answering all mandatory questions and ensuring compliance with the eligibility criteria outlined in Section II.a and II.b of the Open Call[2].

    Applicants should demonstrate clear objectives aligned with the project goals, expected outcomes, innovation, and implementation potential. The evaluation criteria for ranking applications are described in the evaluation forms[3] provided in Annex III of the Open Call.

    For more detailed information please refer to the open call guidelines available on the project's website at


    If you have any inquiries regarding the application process, you can contact

    [1] Online application form (this page)

    [2] Call for SME

    [3] Evaluation Form

    [4] NACE Code List

    Other useful documents

    Annex 1 - Application form template

    Annex 2 - Declaration Form

    Annex 4 - Draft Grant Agreement

    ECRT - Full pack

  • 5000
  • Innovation | Twin transformation | Training
  • Lump sum
  • 16/11/2023 08:00
  • 16/01/2024 17:00
This call has expirated.
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