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FU-TOURISM by vestbee.com
01 December 2023·5 min read

Martyna Konys

Program Manager, Vestbee

FU-TOURISM: project with the aim of transforming more than 100 SMEs

FU-TOURISM project has been launched with the aim of transforming more than 100 SMEs to towards a green, digital, and inclusive economy.

Funded with €4 million by the European Commission through the COSME programme and with a duration of 36 months, FU-TOURISM seeks to establish a robust ecosystem that will provide a lasting impact on the tourism sector, promoting its resilience to future challenges and aligning with the objectives of the EU's European Green Pact.

An acceleration program will identify and support a total of 102 tourism SMEs from the seven European countries that are part of the project: Croatia, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Poland, and Italy.

09/11/2023, Brussels. In Split, Croatia, the FU-TOURISM project consortium organized the official project launch (kick of meeting. This project, funded by European Commission through the program COSME programme (Competitiveness of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises), seeks to support the transition of European tourism SMEs towards a green, digital and inclusive economy. 

FU-TOURISM has a budget of €4 million, a duration of 36 months (3 years) and involves eight partners from seven European countries. The project will be coordinated by Eupolis (Croatia) and will have as partners Dubrovnik City (Croatia), Consell Insular de Menorca (Spain), Finnova Foundation (Belgium), Envolve (Greece), SYNYO (Austria), Vestbee (Poland) and Open Impact (Italy). 

During the conference, the partners presented to the consortium their work in the project and the procedures that will be followed during the duration of the project. The first working groups were also created and the methodologies for the technical and financial management of the project were explained.

The FU-TOURISM project focuses on supporting startups actively engaged in creating new solutions and technologies for the tourism industry, bringing the sector closer to more sustainable practices. The project is also aligned with Vestbee's international mission to support startups and scale-ups in Europe, while connecting a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, including global investors, VC funds, accelerators, business angels, and corporates. - Ewa Chronowska said.

Vestbee is the leading online matchmaking platform in Europe, linking VC funds, accelerators, business angels, and corporates with innovative startups and scale-ups. Operating as a catalyst for robust growth, Vestbee provides essential infrastructure and a thriving community for both startups and VCs.

Collaborating with esteemed global partners such as Amazon Web Services, HubSpot, and Zendesk, Vestbee facilitates access to top-notch deals and business toolkits, fostering the development of the startup ecosystem. Additionally, Vestbee provides software designed for efficiently managing deal flow, applications, and innovation programs, catering to the needs of investors, corporates, and accelerators.

Our overarching mission is to provide FU-TOURISM SMEs with the essential infrastructure and business environment needed to forge impactful business relationships. We ensure startups experience a streamlined fundraising process and gain global exposure, amplifying their visibility and opportunities in the dynamic business landscape.

SUPPORT TO EUROPEAN TOURISM SMES

FU-TOURISM supports European tourism SMEs in their transition towards a green, digital, and inclusive economy, with a focus on the application of the principles of the regenerative economy. FU-TOURISM will develop a supportive ecosystem for tourism SMEs, promoting greater cooperation on innovation between these companies and incubators and accelerators in the sector. To this end, it will launch an acceleration program that will identify and support a total of 102 tourism SMEs from the six European countries that are part of the project through support services for sustainability, digitalization, inclusive business models and direct financial assistance.  

STARTUP EUROPE ACCELERATION PROGRAMME

During the acceleration program, 10 SMEs from each country will be selected in a transparent and open manner to receive a 5-month support and a grant of €20,000. In addition, the Scaling Up program will select 42 SME consortia (7 per country) to receive a grant of 30,000 euros and corresponding business support.

LIVING LABS FOR THE TRANSITION OF TOURISM SMES 

In the context of the European Union, the COSME Program has proven to be a driver of development for businesses and SMEs in Europe. FU-TOURISM is part of the list of projects funded by COSME between 2021 and 2027, standing out as a joint effort to boost economic growth, job creation and foster business competitiveness on the continent. 

One of the key pillars of the FU-TOURISM project is the development of a platform and network of collaborative 4-Helix Clusters, known as Tourism SME Transition Living Labs. These clusters will enable SMEs to be placed at the center of the tourism ecosystem, adopting a multi-stakeholder approach that considers the broader needs of the destination, visitors and local citizens.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO TRANSFORM THE TOURISM SECTOR 

FU-TOURISM not only represents an opportunity for European tourism SMEs, but also for the unique UNESCO tourist destinations; the city of DUBROVNIK, UNESCO Heritage City (inscribed in 1979), and the island of MENORCA, Biosphere Reserve (inscribed in 1993); which will be part of the pilot projects of the program.  

These destinations will test the overall Destination Management Organizations (DMO) strategy and support for tourism SMEs, with the support of EUPOLIS, which will integrate the Tourism Impact Model (TIM) and the Digital Readiness Index (DRI) to measure and report on the sustainable and digital transition of SMEs and destinations. 

The FU-TOURISM project, aligned with the objectives of the European Green Pact and the EU Digital Single Market, is presented as a unique opportunity to transform the tourism sector towards a greener, more resilient and digitized model.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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