EU call invests € 1,5 mln to deseasonalise coastal tourism

On last November, the European Commission published under the EMFF – European Maritime and Fisheries Fund a new call for proposals called “Nautical Routes for Europe”.

The Commission has already addressed on coastal and maritime tourism, firmly believing that the diversification could tackle seasonality and enhance growth and jobs. Competitiveness is strictly linked to innovative tourist products such as transnational thematic routes.

Tourists are no longer demanding only for “sea and sun” options and for this reason the call encourages to develop targeted tourism products focusing on experience and addressing on sustainability. A growing number of segments, such as sailors, boaters and water sports practitioners “are increasingly looking for a more diversified tourism offer to complement their holiday programs”, as we have already reported.

The general objective is promoting and improving transnational tourist thematic routes through the creation of transnational thematic tourism products in the areas of nautical tourism and/or water sports tourism also creating synergies with other important sectors such as food and wine, culture and health & wellbeing tourism and cruise tourism.

The call specifies that there are some core activities to be implemented such as:

– the designing of a new transnational nautical route linking tourist attractions;

– the designing of a long term strategy;

– the consulting and validating with relevant stakeholders;

– the consistent communication and dissemination, and

– the establishment of a mechanism to support a solid and sustainable cooperation among the different actors of the tourism value chain.

Complementary activities such as training or measures to assure complementarities with other funded projects or EU programs, and networking with other projects, may add value to the proposal.

The eligible area includes European coastal areas and sea basins involving EU Member States and third countries listed in the text of the call.

EASME – Executive Agency for SMEs is delegated for the implementation of the call. It foresees to finance 5 to 6 proposals between 250.000 and 300.000 EUR and projects are expected to start on December 2017.

Projects should not exceed the duration of 24 months, are granted up to 80% of co-funding rate and co-financing may also take the form of in-kind contributions from third parties.

Proposals must be submitted by a consortium that consists in a transnational partnership with applicants from at least two different eligible countries. Applicants can be public and private bodies.

Competitive proposals will be awarded according to the relevance of the objectives and the added value of the project. Moreover, it will be valued the project design and implementation according to the coherence and the quality of the activities, the allocation of tasks and resources and the risk management and monitoring. An important criterion is the impact in terms of dissemination, sustainability and transferability of the project in order to expand it to other coastal regions and to be used as a model.

The deadline for the call is fixed on March, 15th 2017.

At Twissen we experienced that the establishment of a balanced consortium is a necessary and strategic activity to design a competitive proposal. While all the applicants must own organisational, technical and financial capacity, the lead applicant is an organisation with a multi-annual expertise in the management of this kind of projects.