EU RURAL TOURISM call for micro and SMEs in the tourism sector

EU RURAL TOURISM call for micro and SMEs in the tourism sector






Project Acronym: EU Rural Tourism

Project Number: 101074557

Full Project Name: Eurocluster Rural Tourism (ECRT)

Call Opening Date: 07/07/2023

Call Closing Date: 10/09/2023

Call Identifier: SMP-COSME-2021-CLUSTER



Funded by the European Union’s COSME program, the EuroCluster Rural Tourism project aims to support 190 small and micro enterprises in the tourism sector. The project, which has received a total funding of 950,000 euros, provides selected SMEs with a service package valued at 5,000 euros each. The goal is to assist these SMEs in designing and developing new tourist products for international markets, incorporating digital, sustainable, and socio-cultural improvements.


Timeline for approved projects and supported content:

The financial support program will commence in November 2023 and will last for 9 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 enhance at least 4 of the following 12 action areas:


  • Digitalization of processes in SMEs
  • Digital marketing and promotion
  • Marketing intelligence and data analysis, data-driven marketing strategy


  • Sustainable management practices for SMEs
  • Carbon management and reduction to address climate change
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Gastronomy and food based on local supply chains


  • Socio-cultural skills (interaction with visitors from different cultural backgrounds)
  • Creating experiences for visitors (development of corresponding products)
  • Inclusive tourism for visitors with special needs
  • Integration with the local community
  • Techniques for interpreting cultural, historical, and natural resources

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



This call is open to SMEs falling under the following ATECO classifications[4]:

  • Hotels and similar accommodation (55.10)
  • Holiday and other short-stay accommodation (55.20)
  • Campgrounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks (55.30)
  • Travel agencies, tour operator reservation services, and related activities (N79)

It is sufficient to submit the official registration certificate provided by the relevant national tourism authorities for any of the above classifications, even if it does not contain the ATECO classification code.

Participation is limited to SMEs based in the following EU Member States or their regions, as well as in third countries participating in the COSME program or their regions:

  • Belgium: Wallonia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Romania: Harghita Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain: Aragon, Catalonia, La Rioja, Navarre



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



To apply for the call, interested SMEs, represented by their legal representatives, must submit their application online in ENGLISH[1] through the Cluster Submission Platform. The deadline for submitting applications is September 10, 2023, at 17:00 Brussels time. The ONLINE application process requires answering all mandatory questions and ensuring compliance with the eligibility criteria outlined in sections II.a and II.b of the open call[2].

Applicants must demonstrate clear objectives that align with the project’s goals, expected outcomes, innovation, and implementation potential. The evaluation criteria for the classification of 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 the end of the evaluation period, ECRT will publish the list of selected SMEs that will receive financial support. The list can be found on ECRT’s official website. Additionally, ECRT will share the list on its social media channels. Furthermore, each consortium partner will make the list available on their respective websites and social media channels.

For any inquiries regarding the application procedure, you can contact info@euroclusterruraltourism.

A summary of the call for SMEs and the translation of the application form are available in all the languages of the ECRT Consortium partners (Czech, Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Romanian).


[1] Online Form

[2] Full Call

[3] Evaluation Sheet

[4] ATECO Code List


For further information, please contact or


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