COS-TOURCOOP-2019-3-01: Boosting sustainable tourism development and capacity of tourism SMEs through transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer

The general objective of this Call is to boost sustainable tourism development and capacity of tourism SMEs through transnational cooperation and knowledge transfer. 

The action aims at:

  • reinforcing transnational and cross-border cooperation to enable sustainable growth of tourism SMEs
  • fostering SMEs’ capacities and skills to explore and uptake solutions, which would improve their sustainable management and tourism sustainability in general
  • fostering innovative solutions for sustainable tourism through cross-sectoral cooperation

The specific objective of the action is to develop and put in place transnational and cross-sectoral support schemes to build capacity for sustainable growth of SMEs in the tourism sector.

Types of Activities

A transnational consortium/network of public and private stakeholders (including business incubators, accelerators and business support organisations providing business support to SMEs and start-ups cooperating with providers of sustainable solutions, recycling centres, environmental education centres, social economy associations, professional associations) will act as an intermediary organising specific activities for tourism SMEs in different countries.

The consortium will organise and provide direct support to companies to build their capacities to develop and implement sustainable and circular standards/models/strategies in their services and operations, but will also facilitate cross-border/transnational cooperation to foster peer to peer learning as well as to exchange knowledge and good practices in increasing tourism sustainability.

Additional details are provided in the Call and in the Guidelines for Awarding Financial Support to Third Parties (Tourism SMEs).


Eligibility of Applicants

Eligible applicants must be fully or partly public or private bodies; private bodies must be properly constituted and registered under national law.

Applicants must be legal persons forming a consortium. The following is a list of non-exhaustive types of legal persons that may apply:

  • non-profit organisations (private or public)
  • non-governmental organisations
  • public authorities and their networks or associations at European, international, national, regional and local level, or organisations acting on behalf of a public authority, responsible for or active in the fields of tourism, economic affairs, industry, business support or related fields
  • international organisations
  • private and profit making entities including micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) active in tourism and business support
  • chambers of commerce and industry
  • training and educational institutions, including universities and research centres active in tourism and business support

Natural persons are not eligible.

Linked third parties, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as applicants in order to declare eligible costs. These linked third parties must be identified in the proposal in order to consider their costs eligible.

Only applications from legal entities established in the following countries are eligible:

  • EU Member States
  • countries participating in the COSME programme pursuant to Article 6 of the COSME Regulation

For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring in particular that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of Article 34.3.1(b) of the grant agreement.

Eligible Consortia

The consortium must gather a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 10 members/partners – different legal persons – covering at least 5 eligible countries – as indicated above.

Each consortium will directly support – including financial support – a minimum of 60 tourism SMEs from a minimum of 3 eligible countries.

At least one partner in the consortium must be a business support organisation. The team must also include a project manager and at least one tourism expert.

Additional details are provided in the Call and in the Guidelines for Awarding Financial Support to Third Parties (Tourism SMEs).

Submission of Proposals

The deadline for electronic submission is 24 October 2019, 17:00 hours (Brussels time).
The link to the submission system is available on the Funding and Tenders Portal. Please refer to the Guide for Applicants (listed below) before commencing the electronic submission.


Potential applicants should address questions related to the content of this call by e-mail to

Only questions sent to this functional mailbox will be answered. Answers will only be published periodically and within a reasonable period of time on this page. Last questions to be answered are those, which will be submitted at least 7 days prior to the closing date of this call.

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