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Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe

Why is it relevant to tourism?

Horizon Europe is the research and innovation framework programme, running from 2021-2027.

Horizon Europe will have a budget of around € 95.5 billion for 2021-2027 (in current prices). This includes €5.4 billion from NextGenerationEU to boost economic recovery and make the EU more resilient in the future, as well as an additional reinforcement of €4.5 billion.

The Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar (Pillar 2) supports research related to societal challenges and reinforces technological and industrial capacities through clusters. It sets EU missions with ambitious goals, tackling some of our biggest problems. It also includes activities by the Joint Research Centre, which supports EU and national policymakers with independent scientific evidence and technical support.

The first work programme (2021-2022) is expected to be published in spring 2021. The first calls will open once the work programmes are published.

Overview of tourism-related components

Cluster 2, 'Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society', will offer research and innovation activities to meet EU goals and priorities on 

  • enhancing democratic governance and citizen participation
  • safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage
  • managing multifaceted social, economic, technological and cultural transformations

The development of new approaches, concepts and practices for sustainable, accessible and inclusive cultural tourism are among the research activities foreseen within this cluster. These research opportunities on cultural tourism will continue and further develop those from the previous framework programme Horizon 2020.

Details of the programme

Horizon Europe programme website

Find calls for proposals

Research and innovation – legal texts

Examples of supported projects

Project Title: SmartCulTour – Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions

Description: Sustainable cultural tourism policies can significantly support the development of the European regions. Cultural tourism, especially in rural areas as well as in urban peripheries can emerge as a factor of economic growth. The EU-funded SmartCulTour project intends to redefine the concept of cultural tourism to provide European regions with Strategies that engage stakeholders in co-creating smart cultural tourism practices. The project, running from 2020 until 2023, will develop a decision-support system that will extensively monitor the regions through a combination of traditional and non-traditional data sources. Inclusive desk research will determine which sustainable cultural tourism policies have a positive impact and will result in proposals for possible local interventions. The project will be deployed through field tests in 6 living labs.

EU contribution: €2,980,000.50

Level of EU funding: 100% of eligible costs

Link to project: SmartCulTour

Project Title: TExTOUR – ‘Social Innovation and TEchnologies for sustainable growth through participative cultural TOURism’

Description: TExTOUR mobilises 18 partners from the knowledge, business, society, government and entrepreneurial fields to co-design, validate and upscale policies and strategies with a positive impact on socio-economic territorial development based on cultural tourism.

TExTOUR uses ICTs and social-innovation tools to work with 8 cultural tourism pilots in lesser-known areas to design collaborative work methodologies for the development of cultural tourism (CT) strategies for their sites. Each pilot sets up lab communities, composed of a wide range of stakeholders with a relevant role in the development of CT sector. Stakeholders are guided through the Cultural Tourism-Labs for the implementation, monitoring and validation of the CT ad hoc strategies. The project started in 2020 and will run until 2024. It develops procedures, services and tools and carries out activities proposed in the methodology. Results are used to prepare a modular and scalable EU Action Plan for Cultural Tourism Development. In parallel, a technological platform is designed and tested to assess CT policies and strategies envisaged by public and private stakeholders. It provides data analytics as a service, together with a catalogue of relevant services representing the assessed CT strategies, and proper content curation and validation processes. The platform also serves to assess the implemented practices and their related impacts.

EU contribution: €3,950,468.75

Level of EU funding: 100% of eligible costs

Link to project: TExTOUR

Database of examples