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Today, 25th February 2022, in the frame of a press conference held in the head office Venetian Cluster in Via Roma 291, 30038 Spinea (VE), in the presence of international cluster organisations, local and regional media, Gian Angelo Bellati, the president of Venetian Cluster and outlined the main objectives of DIGITOUR project “Boosting the tourism sector in Europe through digital tools and innovation (101038133)”, funded through The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), entrusted by the European Commission, under the COSME Programme COS-TOURINN-2020-3-04.

DIGITOUR expects to provide financial and non-financial support to at least 138 enterprises from 12 countries. During its 26 months of lifetime, the DIGITOUR project will create an innovation-friendly and inclusive environment to build-up and skill-up European tourism SMEs to be ready to integrate innovative digital tools in line with their specific needs and to develop novel offers and business models with the support of experts.

DIGITOUR project will support tourism SMEs through two types of vouchers, targeting different levels of digital maturity. The two vouchers are geared towards the achievement of different objectives:

  • The Up-skilling and Capacity Building Voucher is targeting individual SMEs willing to increase their skills and knowledge of digital tools and technologies to foster their competitiveness and scale-up. The aim is to improve digital skills and capacities of tourism SMEs and increase their knowledge of digital tools and technologies through training and individual advisory support.
  • The Collaboration Innovation Voucher is targeting groups of SMEs wishing to cooperate on innovative projects at the national or transnational level. The aim is to boost innovative ideas for digital solutions by SMEs to improve their offer of products and services and their management, marketing, and promotion in novel and sustainable ways, adapting to the new challenges of the tourism sector, and to foster cross- sectoral and cross-border partnerships among tourism sector SMEs and stakeholders, and providers of innovative, digital, and smart solutions and new technologies. Through this voucher, transnational cooperative projects among SMEs will be encouraged.

Both vouchers will contribute to the achievement of the project overall objective of sustainably increasing the competitiveness and resilience of tourism SMEs in Europe to cope with the new challenges of the tourism sector by upskilling their digital knowledge, boosting innovative sustainable ideas and solutions, and fostering cross-border and cross sectoral partnerships.

The press conference has been followed by the kick-off meeting of the DIGITOUR consortium partners, where the ongoing activities of the project have been reported. Among the current key actions:

  • Understanding the regional tourism contexts
  • Collecting User Needs and Requirements of SMEs in the tourism sector through customised online Questionnaire and direct interviews

Based on that information and analysis, the Call for proposals will be defined to progress with the main objectives of the project – supporting tourism SMEs through 2 types of vouchers.

It has been reported that the estimated time to launch the call for proposals is early April 2022.

DIGITOUR consortium represent organisations from the following European countries – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Serbia and Spain. Each partner will duly inform locally through their networks about the ongoing activities and mainly about the launch of the call for proposals.

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