The EuroCluster Rural Tourism is looking for Micro- and Nano SMEs that are in the tourism sector and are based in any EU member state or third country participating in the COSME programme and are interested in improving digital, eco-sustainability, and soft/social skills. 

This second call has total funding of 280,000 Euros, and 56 selected SMEs will receive financial support in the form of a service pack valued at 5,000 Euros. The objective is to assist them in designing and developing new tourism products for international markets, incorporating digital, sustainable, and socio-cultural improvements.

The Financial Support program will commence in January 2024 and last for 5 months. During this period, participating SMEs will work closely with qualified consultants (ASPs) 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.

The interested enterprises have to fall under the following NACE classification:

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

Only SMEs from the following countries or regions can apply:

Belgium – limited to Wallonia region (max 4 SMEs); Bosnia-Herzegovina (max 7 SMEs); Estonia (max 9 SMEs); Georgia (max 10 SMEs); Greece      (max 12 SMEs); Ireland (max 5 SMEs); Italy (max 7 SMEs); The Netherlands (max 10 SMEs); North Macedonia (max 3 SMEs); Romania – limited to the Harghita region (max 6 SMEs); Slovenia (max 3 SMEs) and Spain – limited to Aragón, Cataluña, La Rioja, Navarra regions (max 9 SMEs).

Expected total number of SMEs to be financed: 56

The official registration certificate provided by responsible tourism or enterprise authorities for one of the above is sufficient even if it does not contain the NACE classification code.

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 call for Tourism SMEs will remain open until the 16th January 2024 17:00 Brussels time.   After the evaluation period of one month, ECRT will publish the list of selected SMEs who will receive financial support. You can find the list on the official ECRT website. Moreover, ECRT will also share the list on their social media channels.


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