Inspirational events have been up and running all over Europe, to inform about the forthcoming supportive tools and instruments for the tourism sector
June was quite exciting and busy month for the DIGITOUR project. Several informative and inspirational events were organized and carried out across Europe by the Consortium partners to announce the upcoming launch of the Call for Proposals in the frame of the Project. This Call envisages financial contributions to the digitalization and internationalization of at least 138 tourism SMEs and the events will help for involving them and boosting their ideas and prepare the ground for the application process. DIGITOUR project will support tourism SMEs through two types of vouchers, targeting different levels of digital maturity.
In the current stage of the project, under work package 3, it is expected to be organized about 30 informative and inspirational events and other events targeting tourism SMEs to involve them in the Call for Proposals.
The first online inspirational event was organized by Longarone Fiere Dolomiti and Venetian Cluster with the participation of the Dolomiti DMO. It took place on Monday, June 6, 2022 in Venice, Italy. During this event, the financial contributions envisaged by the DIGITOUR project for the digitization and internationalization of tourism small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were presented.
The President of Longarone Fiere Dolomiti and Venetian Cluster, Gian Angelo Bellati, emphasized that Veneto is the first region in Italy in terms of tourist flows, and one of the leading regions in Europe in terms of tourism.
Elisa Calcamuggi, the communication, and marketing manager of the Dolomiti DMO, also presented this subject, highlighting the opportunities for establishing fruitful synergies thanks to our project: DIGITOUR could help tourism enterprises to reach the level of digitalization necessary to favor the development and consolidation of the regional tourism offer, in order to guarantee effective territorial economic support and development.
Venetian Cluster, the leading partner, and coordinator of DIGITOUR, presented the project and its voucher scheme, aiming at raising the awareness of the audience about the funding opportunities for tourism SMEs. In particular, individual and collaborative vouchers have been introduced, announcing that a call for SMEs is expected to be launched soon.
Finally, a debate and a Q&A session have been opened at the end of the event.
Two other events were held by Consulting Cluster Veritas on-site.
On June 20, 2022, in Hotel Graffiti, Varna, Bulgaria, a meeting took place, organized by Varna Tourism Chamber. Within the event, the DIGITOUR PROJECT was presented by Kristiana Kazhandzhieva, in her role as a business expert and member of the DIGITOUR Consortium. Tour operators from the region (Golden Tour, Franga), representatives of the hotel business (Grifid Hotels, Graffiti, Chernomorets hut), of the restaurant business (pizzeria chain Three Muscetes), Alliance Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, and representatives of the University of Economics, Varna were among the attendees in the meeting.
After the presentation of the project, many questions were asked and all attendees expressed their interest, related to the parameters of the invitation to participate in the voucher scheme for SMEs, conditions for participation, scale, and scope of funded services.
In Sofia, on June 23, Consulting Cluster Veritas organized its second informative and inspirational event with 25 attendees from the tourism sector. In the informal atmosphere of Creative hub Misia23, the forthcoming Call for Proposals, as well as the functionalities of the project’s website were presented.
Participants were informed about the two schemes geared towards the achievement of project’s objectives:
- The Up-skilling and Capacity Building Voucher is targeting individual SMEs willing to increase their skills and knowledge of digital tools and technologies to foster their competitiveness and scale-up..
- The Collaboration Innovation Voucher is targeting groups of SMEs wishing to cooperate on innovative projects at the national or transnational level.
All participants were interested in the upcoming initiatives for the tourism SMEs financial support and several potential project ideas were marked in the talks after the presentation.
On June 21, the Spain Consortium Partners, The Cluster of Sustainable Tourism of Aragon (TSAC) and the IDiA Cluster, of Research, Development, and Innovation in Aragon, organized an online event on “Digitalization and internationalization: contributions for tourism companies”.
It was introduced by Pedro Villanueva (President of TSAC), followed by a presentation of the technical and financial support opportunities provided by the project, explained by Daniel Serón (Project Manager from TSAC).
Guillermo Pardo and María Hervas explained some digital solutions, offered by expert companies in digital services and technology, to which tourism SMEs can choose: Website and positioning in tourist environments, Social networks, Internal information repository in the cloud, Online reservation platforms, Mobile applications for tourism, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Process Management (ERP, PMS…), Digital Advertising Management Platform, Internet of things (IoT), Augmented reality, Virtual reality, Geolocation
BizGarden, the consortium partner from Czech Republic also organized two inspirational online events, themed “Digitization and Internationalization: Financial Vouchers for Businesses in Tourism”, that took place on June 22 and June 28, 2022. As part of them, the possibilities of technical and financial support offered by the DIGITOUR project were presented. In particular, the attendees were provided with basic information on vouchers worth € 1,000 or € 20,000. The main accent of the event was the opportunities for the internationalization and digitalization of SMEs in the tourism sector.
It is foreseen that other consortium partners will also organize their informative and inspirational events in the forthcoming months, where dates and places will be announced shortly on the website. The Call for Proposals is expected to be launched by mid-July.
Funded through The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), entrusted by the European Commission, under the COSME Programme COS-TOURINN-2020-3-04, DIGITOUR project brings together SMEs from the tourism sector with providers of innovative, digital, and smart solutions and new technologies. Through open calls and facilitation services, DIGITOUR project boosts the tourism sector in Europe through digital tools and innovation.