Fostering digitalisation of European tourism SMEs’

Digitalisation has the potential to boost innovation, to generate economic and environmental efficiencies and increase productivity. At the same time, it brings unprecedented opportunities for tourism SMEs such as the development of new products and services, processes, access to new markets and improved customer experience.

The European project TOURBIT (‘Fostering digitalisation of European tourism SMEs’) understands that digitalisation opens opportunities but, like other global forces of the industry, poses many challenges to tourism SMEs.

In that sense, TOURBIT main objective is fostering skills and capacity and boosting the uptake of digitalisation and innovation, promoting resilient and competitive SMEs and spurring a faster transformation of the European tourism sector.

TOURBIT partnership is a public and private alliance of complementary 8 organisations covering 7 countries (Belgium, Finland, France, Iceland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) that will work on the activities and objectives of the project until June 2024:

Catalan Tourist Board – Spain (Catalonia) – Coordinator
Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Navigation – Spain (Catalonia)
Welcome City Lab by PARIS&CO – France
ARCTUR DOO (lead of Tourism 4.0) – Slovenia
Cluster hosted by – Belgium
Iceland Tourism Cluster – Iceland
Lapland University of Applied Sciences – Finland
NEST – Tourism Innovation Center – Portugal

TOURBIT partnership proposes a transnational and cross-ecosystem support scheme based on a framework of three pillars ‘Learning, Building, Testing and Implementing’ which goal is to enable tourism SMEs to cultivate their necessary capabilities to thrive in the digital age.

New and innovative digital technologies for the tourism industry will be mapped including the following 7 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 will start their journey of digital transformation with the ‘Digital Readiness Index’, an online self-assessment tool that will enable them to assess their state of digitalisation and recommend actions to boost it. They will LEARN more about technology tools and innovative solutions thanks to a complete programme of webinars.

Connexion, knowledge and collaboration between tourism SMEs and key players from the tourism, technology, and start-ups, will be encouraged through an online community on Tourism Innovation. Co-creating workshops and a virtual hackathon with the participation of stakeholders across Europe will complete the BUILD pillar.

Finally, as part of the TEST AND IMPLEMENT pillar, TOURBIT will also financially support 62 tourism SMEs from the 7 destinations involved in the frame of the Digital Acceleration Programme (Call for proposals).

The TOURBIT project has an overall budget of 1,331,570 € (out of which 520,000 € will be forwarded to tourism SMEs) and will be funded up to a maximum of 75% through the COSME- Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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The content of this webpage represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


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