This online guide highlights the wide range of funding programmes financed by the new budget, Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, and Next Generation EU. With these resources and this guide, we're supporting the move towards a more digital, sustainable and inclusive EU.
The guide will help you find appropriate funding. It contains links to relevant EU programme websites with the latest developments (such as annual work programmes or call for proposals) and further details per programme. For inspiration, you can also see concrete project examples funded by previous EU programmes.
This guide focuses on practical issues related to the most important EU funding programmes for the tourism sector. Find out about your eligibility, which activities are eligible, the different types of funding, and where to apply & when. For brevity's sake, the guide only covers what is essential to find the relevant programme.
Step 1: Identify the relevant programmes and financial instruments
Find the most relevant programmes through the online guide’s three questions.
- On eligibility: Who can apply?
- On the programme’s topic: Which actions can receive funding?
- On the type of support: What kind of funding is available?
Disclaimer: For many programmes, a political agreement on the Commission's proposals for 2021-2027 has already been reached but several EU Programmes presented are pending formal approval by the European Parliament and the Council. Therefore, the information in this guide may be subject to future changes.
Step 2: Get familiar with the call-specific forms documentation (online)
Download the information package, usually including a 'guide' with advice on preparation and submission. If the information is not clear to you, feel free to use the dedicated interface (e.g. functional mailbox, online page, etc.).
Step 3: Find partners where useful or required
Some (sub)programmes support cross-border or trans-European projects. You may then need partners based in other EU countries to form a consortium.
Many programme websites or pages advertising a specific call contain a section where potential partners can post their offer or request.
Step 4: Submit your proposal, offer or application on time
- Before you apply: EU funding for beginners | European Commission (europa.eu)
- General information on funding and tenders opportunities | European Commission (europa.eu)
- Find call for proposals & tenders (europa.eu)
In 2020, the EU introduced a stimulus package worth €2.018 trillion (in current prices). It consists of the EU’s long-term budget for 2021 to 2027 under the multiannual financial framework and NextGenerationEU, a temporary instrument to power the recovery. These resources will be allocated toward the green deal, digitalisation, and unforeseen circumstances.
Actors in the tourism ecosystem may also be eligible.
Local business support
- Enterprise Europe Network – EEN offers SMEs free advice on funding opportunities through a network of local contact points. It also offers the possibility to find partners and create international partnerships. You can also see its 'Tourism and Cultural Heritage Sector Group'.
- Professional organisations may also provide similar support.
Technical assistance for applicants
- European Investment Advisory Hub - EIAH, a contact point for advisory expertise to help projects get funding
- Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions - JASPERS by the European Commission and by the European Investment Bank provides free assistance to local authorities and promoters, especially on project preparation, independent quality reviews and capacity building.
More useful links
Creative Europe is the European Union's programme for support to the cultural and creative sectors, including the audio-visual sector.
With a planned overall budget of €7.5 billion (in current prices), the Digital Europe Programme will shape and support the digital transformation of Europe’s society and economy, with the ultimate goal of supporting the strategic autonomy of the EU single market.
Tourism organisations wanting to participate in Erasmus+ may engage in a number of development and networking activities in the fields of academic and vocational training, schools, adult learning, youth and European sport events.
Many rural areas in the European Union suffer from structural problems such as a lack of attractive employment opportunities, skill shortages, under-investment in connectivity, infrastructures and essential services, as well as youth drain.
Supports actions and investments that contribute to the protection of aquatic biodiversity and to sustainable and low-impact fishing and aquaculture activities.
To strengthen the environmental, socioeconomic sustainability and resilience of tourism in the long term, regions and countries are encouraged to help transform the sector by learning from innovative solutions. Investments in tourism are possible through all 5 policy objectives supported by the ERDF
The ESF+ is a key financial instrument in implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, supporting jobs and skills, and creating a fair and socially inclusive society. It provides much -needed resources to EU countries for the recovery of our societies and economies after the coronavirus crisis
Research and innovation framework programme, running from 2021-2027. It will have a budget of around € 95.5 billion for 2021-2027 (in current prices), including €5.4 billion from NextGenEU to boost the economic recovery and make the EU more resilient for the future, and €4.5 billion reinforcement.
The InvestEU programme will promote investments to strengthen tourism’s competitiveness, sustainability, and value chains. It will facilitate sustainable, innovative and digital measures, which could help reduce the sector’s climate and environmental footprint.
The Fund aims to reduce the social and economic costs resulting from the transition to an EU climate-neutral economy by supporting diversification of economic activity, creating new business opportunities and helping people adapt to a changing labour market.
Funds projects in environment and climate action. Tourism activities related to green transition can benefit from the programme. Particularly tourism projects supporting the circular economy, energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, as well as climate-neutrality may be eligible.
As a part of the NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU will provide an additional €50.6 billion (in current prices) for assistance aimed at fostering development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its social consequences, as well as preparing a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy.
Centrepiece of Europe’s recovery plan, NextGenerationEU. It aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of he COVID-19 crisis and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
Aims to provide EU countries the tools to recover and repair from the Covid-19 crisis. The final objective is to make the Single Market stronger and more resilient. Annex 2 focuses on improving the competitiveness of enterprises, particularly SMEs, and supporting their access to markets.
Projects financed by EBRD address a wide area of sustainable practices and associated market trends in tourism. Out of the EBRD’s 39 countries of operation, 12 are located within the EU. There are 3 programmes with specific relevance to the tourism sector.