Promoting the digitalisation of European tourism SMEs
Digitalisation has the potential to drive innovation, generate economic and environmental efficiencies and increase productivity. At the same time, it offers unprecedented opportunities for tourism SMEs, such as the development of new products and services, new processes, access to new markets and an improved customer experience.
The European TOURBIT project (“Fostering digitalisation of European tourism SMEs”) highlights the fact that digitalisation opens up opportunities but, like other global industry forces, poses many challenges for tourism SMEs.
In this sense, TOURBIT’s main objective is to foster skills and capabilities and stimulate the adoption of digitalisation, promote resilient, competitive SMEs and encourage a faster transformation of the European tourism sector.
The TOURBIT partnership is a public and private alliance of eight complementary organisations covering seven countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) working on the project activities and objectives until June 2024:
- Catalan Tourist Board – Spain (Catalonia) – Coordinator
- Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation of Barcelona – Spain (Catalonia)
- Welcome City Lab by PARIS&CO – France
- ARCTUR DOO (leader in tourism 4.0) – Slovenia
- hospitality.brussels cluster hosted by hub.brussels – Belgium
- Iceland Tourism Cluster – Iceland
- Lapland University of Applied Sciences – Finland
- NEST – Tourism Innovation Center – Portugal
New and innovative digital technologies for the tourism industry have been mapped out, including the following seven trending technology solutions: data analytics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), blockchain, cybersecurity, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).
Tourism SMEs begin their digital transformation journey with the “Digital Readiness Index (DRI)“, an online self-assessment tool that will allow them to evaluate their digitalisation status and recommend actions to boost it. They will learn more about technology tools and innovative solutions through a comprehensive webinar programme.
Connection, knowledge and collaboration between tourism SMEs and key players in tourism, technology and start-ups will be fostered through an online tourism innovation community.
Co-creation workshops and a virtual hackathon (2023) with the participation of stakeholders from all over Europe complete the “BUILDING” pillar.
Lastly, under the “TESTING AND IMPLEMENTING” pillar, in 2023 TOURBIT will also financially support 62 tourism SMEs from the seven destinations involved in the digital acceleration programme (call for proposals). An opportunity not to be missed for your company!
The TOURBIT project has an overall budget of €1,331,570 (of which €520,000 will be paid to tourism SMEs) and will be funded up to 75% by the COSME-Europe programme for small and medium-sized enterprises.
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