ENAT Partners Win EU Commission Support Grant for SMEs' Sustainable Tourism Network
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The European Commission's Enterprise and Industry Directorate today announced the funding of three new networking initiatives for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise in the tourism sector. The new SME networks aim to strengthen the knowledge and understanding of practices that link sustainability and competitiveness in a mutually reinforcing way. ENAT is leading a transnational partnership to show how applying accessibility principles, in particular, can benefit smaller tourism businesses, even in a difficult economic climate.
The European Commission's Enterprise and Industry Directorate today announced the funding of three new networking initiatives for Small and Medium-sized Enterprise in the tourism sector.
The new SME networks have the aim of strengthening the knowledge and understanding of practices that link sustainability and competitiveness in a mutually reinforcing way.
ENAT is leading one of the transnational partnerships, "Competitiveness for European Tourism for All - CETA" which will show how applying accessibility principles in smaller and medium-sized tourism enterprises can improve the quality of the visitor experience, enhance competitive advantage in the market and contribute to a more sustainable business.
Mr. Ivor Ambrose, Coordinator of the CETA initiative, comments, "We welcome this chance to work closely with tourism SMEs on the accessibility front. With extra resources and a dedicated trans-national team, we aim to help businesses become confident about access."
Mr. Ambrose adds: "SMEs are specialists when it comes to giving a flexible and personal customer service. Some are beginning to realise that their business can benefit by catering for visitors who are disabled, elderly or have other access requirements. And besides this, some EU Member States now have laws which demand 'reasonable accommodation' for customers with disabilities. This network will focus on raising awareness and giving SMEs the tools to take the first steps towards making their business accessible".
The Commission will finance 50% of the CETA project's 200,000 Euro budget over the 18-month period January 2009 - June 2010.
CETA Project Partners:
Consorzio Sociale CO.IN Società Cooperativa Sociale (Italy)
National Tourism Association (Slovenia)
Vellinge Municipality and “Destination Söderslätt” (Sweden)
Tourism för alla i Sverige (Sweden)
University of Surrey, School of Management (UK)
CETA Project Objectives:
- create a sustainable European Network for tourism SMEs which want to add sustainability and accessibility to their products and services;
- deliver knowledge and good practice examples to stimulate SMEs’ capacity to adopt new innovative methods, making their offers more competitive and sustainable;
- create and distribute tools for training SME personnel in accessible and sustainable tourism practices;
- promote marketing of sustainable destinations, involving SMEs in public-private partnerships of regional tourism networks.
A networking website will play a central role in bringing businesses together and delivering information to SMEs.
Membership of the SMEs' Network is free of charge.
Visit the external CETA website: Accessible Tourism Network for SMEs
Visit the ENAT Resources page for the CETA Project
The official launch of the network will take place in an Open Workshop in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on Thursday 12 March 2009.
View: more details about the Open Workshop
Read more about the Commission's tourism SME networking initiative and the three new SME's networks at the European Commission Website.
Downloads in PDF format from the right-hand panel:
- CETA Flyer in English
- CETA Flyer in Slovenian
- CETA Press Release of 11 March 2009 (in Slovenian)
- The European Commission's announcement of the winners of the 2008 Call for proposals in PDF