Empowering Sustainable Tourism: Funding opportunities supporting SMEs to obtain the EU Ecolabel certification or EMAS registration

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A new call for proposals targeting SMEs in the tourism sector has been announced.

A new call for proposals targeting SMEs in the tourism sector has been announced: “Transitioning to a more sustainable and resilient ecosystem – empowering tourism SMEs”. The primary goal is to assist the EU tourism sector to become more resilient and adopt more environmentally friendly and robust practices. The funding is designed to deliver a comprehensive package of support that includes training, financial assistance as well as advisory services, offered through a collaborative partnership, including key stakeholders in the tourism industry.

Who is the target audience for this funding mechanism?

The end beneficiaries of the funding mechanism are SMEs, including start-ups and entrepreneurs. Applications are welcome from consortia including key tourism industry stakeholders, business support organisations, specialised consultancies, tourism professionals, etc. (read the eligibility criteria in the call text).

Why is it relevant to the EU Ecolabel and EMAS?

Among the various strategies available to assist SMEs in the tourism industry, the EU Ecolabel, together with the EMAS, the EU Eco-management and EMAS scheme -  stands out as a credible and widely recognised scheme for enhancing resilience and sustainability. As such, applicants can focus part of their proposal towards the promotion of environmentally friendly practices and/or adoption of certifications schemes such as the EU Ecolabel or EMAS. Examples of activities may include:

  • Increase awareness and train key tourism stakeholders on EU certifications such as the EU Ecolabel and EMAS.
  • Offering customised consulting services for SMEs, including technical assistance, coaching or peer-to-peer learning initiatives, specifically geared towards achieving EU Ecolabel certification/EMAS registration for hotels or other accommodations.
  • Gathering and showcasing success stories from establishments that already hold the EU Ecolabel certification (Tourist Accommodation Catalogue)/EMAS registration aimed at increasing industry and policy-maker awareness.

Collaborative project partnerships can also benefit – under certain conditions - from direct financial support to cover sustainability certifications , like EU Ecolabel certification /EMAS registration costs and implementation costs related to the certification/registration.


Projects are anticipated to range between €1,700,000 and €2,125,000 for a maximum available funding of €8,500,000. Projects should last between 30 months and 36 months. Projects are financed through grants.


21 February 2024 (17:00 GMT+1).

Policy framework

This funding mechanism is part of the European Commission EU Transition Pathway outlined in the updated Industrial Strategy (COM(2021)350 final), particularly the Single Market Programme (SMP), which aims to make the EU single market stronger and boost SMEs' competitiveness and sustainability.

More information