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Call for Submissions to Support Cooperation projects on Transnational Tourism based on European cultural and industrial heritage”

The European Commission's Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry has launched a call for proposals on the themes of “Cooperation projects to support transnational tourism based on European cultural and industrial heritage” and "Fostering accessible tourism entrepreneurship and management".

Theme A: Cooperation projects to support transnational tourism based on European cultural and industrial heritage

2.1. THEME A - CULTURAL TOURISM

This call complements regional and national policies by supporting trans-European cooperation aimed at designing innovative transnational products capitalising on European shared cultural and/or industrial heritage, with a view to contributing to:

1) diversify European tourism offer; and/or

2) economic regeneration and job creation in declining (post) industrial regions.

Hence, the objectives of the call are to:

·         help the design of tourism strategies

·         promote tourism in regions in crisis or in conversion, in order to boost employment and growth in these regions;

·         facilitate exchanges of good practices, the development of networks and of discussion platforms between public decision-makers and the private sector, in the fields of cultural and industrial tourism.

·         facilitate and stimulate public-private partnerships and the integration of enterprises of the cultural tourism sector into regional development strategies;

·         improve the quality of the European tourism offer by a strengthened cross-border cooperation; and/or

·         strengthen the management skills of public or private bodies in charge of developing thematic tourism products.

Financed actions:

The present call aims at supporting trans-national cooperation and public-private partnerships, in the field of  "transnational cultural or industrial heritage related tourism products". Therefore it focuses on "product development" and/or "promotional” phases.

Applicants are free to propose any kind of action in line with this call’s objectives such as: market analysis leading to the identification of a common theme related to the European cultural or industrial heritage; mapping of attractions/sites/destinations and tourism and cultural services that could be linked to the identified theme; identification of additional partners, key stakeholders and sponsors; business plan based on an analysis of the "carrying capacities" along the identified transnational product, networking, awareness raising, etc.

Proposals dealing with the following elements would be particularly welcome (non-exhaustive list; proposals based on other elements will be equally treated):

·         combination of industrial heritage and living industry (visit of enterprises and their museum) as long as the proposal complies with the non-profit principle of the call

·         products around world-known historical figures (European or having lived in Europe) or European events (tourism of memory / remembrance, e.g. around World Wars, steps in the European integration, …, targeting in particular young people).

·         products around coastal and maritime heritage

·         products targeting diasporas (e.g. come and visit the place of your ancestors)

·         “spiritual” routes

·         gastronomic routes with a European narrative (e.g. where an aliment was first introduced, how it spread through Europe, description of commercial routes and different ways to prepare it …; by opposing to the presentation of unrelated products)

·         routes starting or ending outside Europe

·         “experience-based” tourism (e.g. when tourists live for a moment the live of the hosting community — fishermen — or are invited to make their own ceramic after visiting a museum and a factory).

Expected results:

The proposal should aim at achieving the following expected results:

·         Creation of a "critical mass" of destinations, attractions, sites and tourism-related services, providing ground for attractive and sustainable European cultural and industrial tourism related offers, which will contribute to the diversification of European tourism offer;

·         Contribution to the growth of employment in the tourism sector;

·         Better valorisation of the European cultural and industrial heritage;

·         Fostering a greater sense of European identity (among tourism actors collaborating in transnational network and among European tourists discovering other aspects of our European common heritage)

The project proposal must fulfil the following characteristics:

·         be thematic: The transnational tourism product must be conceived and structured around a common theme. The theme must be related to European cultural or industrial heritage and it must be clearly identifiable.

·         be technically and financially sustainable. The project should identify the management structure and explain how it will enable the project to meet its goals, identify the staff to be involved with distribution of tasks between partners and staff members. The description of the proposal should also refer to how the action could be further developed after the end of the project period, both technically and financially.

·         create real measurable effects. The expected results of the project should be clearly outlined and it should be indicated how the results will be measured and what indicators will be used.

·         be trans-national. The tourism product shall have a "European dimension", in the sense of both covering at least 5 different European countries - as listed under point 5.1 - and be representative of the European common heritage and shared values. In other words, the tourism product should tell a European story (i.e. illustrating how Europeans (used to) cooperate, compete and/or fight).

·         be carried out through a partnership/consortium between a minimum of five partners (i.e. 5 different legal entities mentioned separately in the grant agreement) having their legal seats in at least 5 different countries as listed under point 5.1. The consortium should include at least 1 public authority and 2 SMEs.

·         give visibility to the European Union's involvement in the project.

Theme B: Fostering accessible tourism entrepreneurship and management

This theme consists with supporting the development and the provision of Accessible Tourism "Capacity Building Schemes" for tourism managers and entrepreneurs. Its ultimate purpose is to encourage the uptake of business practices and strategic planning which mainstream accessibility and "Universal Design"  priorities in the tourism sector.

Full details and documentation relating to both themes, including Guidelines for Applicants, Call text and Submission details, are available at: ec.europa.eu/enterprise/newsroom/cf/itemdetail.cfm 

The deadline for electronic submission of proposals under both themes is 21 October 2014, 17.00 hours (Brussels time).