Enterprise Europe Network

Tourism: in 2018 look at China, go digital and be creative

Enterprise Europe Network team of experts dedicated to supporting businesses in the tourism and cultural heritage sector

The tourism business agenda for 2018 is already piling high with opportunities. Alongside the EU-China tourism year, new trends in creative industries, digitalisation and the sharing economy will be shaping the future of tourism companies. Our team of tourism experts are ready to hit the road! Paulo Bota, who chairs the expert group, walks us through Network initiatives for 2018.

2018 EU-China Tourism Year

How to make the most of the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year? The Enterprise Europe Network’s team of business advisers for tourism and cultural heritage will be in the front line, thanks to an active collaboration with PET - Partnerships in European Tourism initiative. They will be helping Network clients participate in several PET and Network workshops and B2B events, following the official launch in January. One of the first flagship events will take place at ITB Berlin (6-7 March), where European tourism companies can schedule bilateral meetings with the most important Chinese outgoing tourism operators.

Tourism meets creative industries

Tourism meets creative industries: this is another motto for 2018. Network experts in these two sectors will team up to look for innovative creative tourism ecosystems. The aim? To build international-driven, win-win cooperation between creative industries and tourism companies. A specific workshop and B2B matchmaking event will take place at ITB Berlin. Later in the year, the TO Design Meeting, in Turin (Italy), will be the place to be for hotels on the look for new suppliers in design and architecture. We'll be there too, with a Network matchmaking event. Keep an eye on the Network’s events calendar.

Tourism SMEs go digital

While digitalisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is a hot topic across sectors, the Network will be helping tourism businesses to find the best international tech-solutions to improve their digital environment and services. Accommodation units, destination management organisations and other tourism companies can get in touch with the digital travel community and look for new exciting digital offers thanks to the Network’s partnering services and close cooperation with our ICT sector experts.

Tourism and the sharing economy

In 2018, the Network will also be supporting SMEs to explore new opportunities in the sharing economy, particularly in sustainable tourism and cultural heritage. Several Network organisations are involved in pilot projects co-funded by the COSME programme. We will be taking on many actions including mapping of collaborative platforms, organisation of discussion forums and provision of specialised services to SMEs with high growth potential.

Advice for innovation and growth

Beyond these trends, our experts will continue providing advisory and partnering services to EU tourism SMEs. Our services for access to EU finance and funds inspired by the updated and multilingual Guide on EU funding for the tourism sector 2014-2020 are key. Also, in many regions, the Enterprise Europe Network will be organising company missions and B2B matchmaking events, putting international buyers face-to-face with local tourism companies, and delivering our follow-up services to ensure our clients’ business objectives are met. Interested? Get in touch with your local Network contact point.

Paulo Bota is an Enterprise Europe Network adviser based in the Regional Development Commission of Algarve, Portugal. Working with a team of experts across Europe and beyond, Paulo contributes to the Network’s efforts to support the development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) creating business opportunities in the tourism and cultural heritage sector.

Photo: Meet the Enterprise Europe Network team of experts dedicated to supporting businesses in the tourism and cultural heritage sector.

Updated on 28 November 2017