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CEnTOUR project -Circular Economy in Tourism

CEnTOUR is a COSME project been implemented from September 2020 to September 2023. The project aims to boost sustainable tourism of tourist SMEs introducing tourism SMEs to initial strategies toward the Circular Economy approach. This will be implemented through the development and testing of an effective support scheme for SMEs that include a training, capacity building and knowledge transfer path focusing on the promotion of the best practices exchange, the creation of an enduring network, and a technical and financial support toward the uptake of innovative solutions and EU certifications. CEnTOUR worked on the development of tourism marketing strategies based on circular economy for two Focus Regions aiming also to involve the entire regional environment of each operative partner for in planning regional marketing strategies for the tourism sustainable development. The specific objectives of the project include: Boosting skills and knowledge transfer through: developing a framework for capacity building, creating a supporting structure for SMEs; delivering a training interactive programme (online sessions, face to face sessions, study visit, webinars and online conferences) with the help of EC facilitators; Implementing technical support activities for incubation, acceleration and scaling up of tourism SMEs. 68 companies in 5 countries will be selected for implement pilot tests, they will be financially supported to cover travel costs, sustainable and green investments. The project aims at taking at least 10% of SMEs to obtain certification (EMAS or Ecolabel), while 20% of them will go through the feasibility study for certifications; Creating an enduring network of Institutions that can collaborate on CE support schemes for SMEs in the tourism sector and promoting the exchange of practices and results at EU level within a CE network of stakeholders and the development of an operational framework to replicate the business support scheme elsewhere. The project specifically focuses on SMEs of the tourism sector that are slowly approaching the challenges of moving from a linear to a circular economic model and, given their small size, do not have the resources and skills to face it. Tourism systems are very tied systems that benefit from an integrated approach to business development, both in terms of efficiency and promotion. It is therefore important to support SMEs in the development and implementation of circular businesses (in terms of knowledge transfer, skills, innovation, certifications) and to realize them within an integrated system for the local development. The target groups of the project are: 68 SMEs in the tourism sector regional authorities and sectoral organisations a wide range of stakeholders involved in the training, education, entrepreneurship, and innovation support at local, regional, national, and EU level