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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
News article11 March 2022European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency3 min read

Boosting tourism in the digital era

In November 2020, EASME launched the call for proposals, Boosting the uptake of digitalisation, innovation and new technologies in tourism through transnational cooperation and capacity building. Its aim was to help tourism SMEs lead the tourism recovery through innovative and technological solutions.

In all, nearly €9 million was made available for 9 projects, each aimed at supporting the digital transition of the tourism sector. The 9 selected projects are

  • EU DigiTOUR
  • CulTourData
  • TourINN-act
  • Tourism4.0

Each project demonstrates a number of ways Europe can boost the tourist sector through a variety of digital and data driven innovations, promoting smarter and greener tourist destinations and byconnecting people through the latest technologies. You can read about them below.



EU DigiTOUR supports the digital transition of European tourism SMEs lagging behind in the adoption of digital technologies in the tourism sector. The project seeks to shape the next generation of EU tourism SMEs by developing new, innovative and smart tourism solutions, products, services, skills and business models by using artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual and augmented reality and big data.



The SMARTER AoE project focuses on the Amazon of Europe (AoE), the area around the Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve, and extends through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia. It aims to boost social, digital and innovation through collaboration, capacity-building and digital transformation.  130 tourism SMEs from 7 countries will benefit from EU financing and a capacity-building programme that will help with the process of digital transformation.



EURO-EMOTUR connects SMEs with digital technologies and improves businesses’ competitiveness through digitalisation. This project pays special attention to neuromarketing techniques to boost the digital reputation of SMEs and increase their performance and key performance indicators (KPIs) both in the short and long term. The project will directly support 100 SMEs from 20 countries.



CulTourData aims to enhance data-driven cultural tourism across Europe. The project targets tourism SMEs in the European Capitals of Culture and helps them to use data analytics as part of their business strategy and create a business approach that combines tourism, culture, creativity and digital technology.



DIGITOUR will support tourism SMEs through two types of vouchers that will increase skills and digital knowledge at national or cross-border level. Around 138 tourism SMEs in 12 countries will benefit from the project.

Both vouchers will contribute to the overall project objective of increasing the competitiveness of tourism SMEs by allowing them to manage new challenges with improved digital knowledge, whilst fostering cross-border and cross-sectoral partnerships.



RESETTING aims to facilitate a transition towards more resilient, circular, and sustainable models of European tourism companies. It will do this through innovative digital solutions that reduce unnecessary burdens, improve the quality of the tourism experience, contribute to the decarbonisation of the tourism sector and facilitate a more inclusive economic growth for both businesses and residents.

This project will help the competitiveness of 60 SMEs spread across 5 European countries. This project facilitates transnational cooperation and is committed to co-creation and innovation that will help to unite entrepreneurs around the common goals of restarting tourism more sustainably and smartly.



TOURBIT improves the resilience and competitiveness of tourism SMEs through a transnational and cross-sector support service scheme. The project will develop the digital awareness to tourism SMEs as well as offering digital training, mentoring and support. It will also set up an innovation tourism platform, connecting more than 200 key players across Europe in peer exchanges.



TourINN-act reinforces cross-border cooperation among tourism SMEs, businesses and public bodies to enable the smart and sustainable growth of tourism and new market opportunities. It will improve tourism SMEs' use of new digital technologies and sustainable practices, and develop a broader vision on competitiveness factors amongst others through a catalogue of digital solutions for tourism sector recovery.



The Tourism4.0 project develops capacity-building, technology transfer, support and assistance programmes to enable tourism SMEs to adopt digital technologies to improve their productivity, sustainability and overall business performance. It will bring SMEs, technology providers and public authorities together in building a platform for knowledge transfer, peer learning and innovation uptake. The project will assist over 100 tourism and digital SME and startups, stimulating digital transformation and innovation uptake in their quest to improve economic and environmental results.


Publication date
11 March 2022
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency