PROfessional Framework for Innovation in Tourism | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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PROfessional Framework for Innovation in Tourism

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Framework Conditions for Innovation

Lead partner

Westtoer APB


Start Date


End Date


Project budget

2 915 773

ERDF amount

1 749 464

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    In the EU’s Blue Growth Strategy, the coastal and maritime tourism sector is identified as an area with special potential to foster a smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe. The fragmentation of the sector (tourism industry is an industry dominated by SMEs), the lack of innovation and diversification, the increased worldwide competition and the volatility of demand and seasonality are factors that prevent that this potential is exploited. To fully capture the potential benefits generated by tourism, the framework conditions for innovation, to be delivered by tourism SMEs, need to be improved.

    Main Achievements

    The PROFIT project entered an important implementation year in 2018. Following the creation of the digital platform in 2017, the platform has been refined & improved from a content perspective to support the implementation of all PROFIT activities. The platform has been expanded with an upload function to enable SMEs to share their data for data analysis. In addition, based on the data gathered & feedback of SMEs, HZ has developed a template for personal factsheets. In 2017-2018, HZ & Westtoer have carried out quite some experiments on analysing different sources of data & experiments on big data. A report has been written with a description of the experiments, the opportunities of each data source & the learnings for the future to share with as many stakeholders as possible.

    The WP2 Service Design gave all partners the opportunity to engage SMEs across their region further, at a much closer level. In the Spring of 2018, we explored the needs of visitors in our areas. Using learnings on businesses’ needs, we came up with a tailored list of topics. We then secured experienced experts to go through these topics with our SMEs in a series of Expert Panels. After bringing together SMEs & visitors in co-creation workshops, we transformed the winning ideas in the 5 regions into a set of Action Plans. Published on the platform alongside a short video explaining the process, these resources are now being used to inspire tourism SMEs onto new products & services. All learnings are gathered in a ‘Sustainable Innovation Methodology’ report.

    WP3 saw the partnership embark on an exciting phase of developing & implementing a shared Innovation Program for all partners based on the outcomes, results and themes defined during working on DNA, Big Data & Service Design. Over 400 SMEs & stakeholders already attended Innovation Master Classes. These have served as a useful filter to identify key tourism SMEs who are ready to commit and go further with personal coaching and Innovation Plans.

    The planning of 2 ambitious Inspiration trips has been set up and a Think Tank has been created to share experiences, lessons learned, strategies & methodologies used in PROFIT beyond the partnership.

    In 2018 the platform has been boosted with a lot of new inspiring content and became a true Innovation Toolkit for SMEs.
    Suffice to say, the maturity of the partnership, cross border working and the way in which the common framework approach to WP2 & WP3 is now rolling out is yielding results.



    Visit Kent Limited

    Essex County Council

    ADRT Pas-de-Calais Tourisme

    Organisation internationale du tourisme social (OITS)

    Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Côte d'Opale

    HZ University of Applied Sciences

    N.V. Economische Impuls Zeeland


    URL / Download

    Approach for training and coaching businesses

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Business support centres and agencies - Regional development agencies, Chamber of Commerce - SMEs /enterprises

    Strategy with action plan to stimulate innovation in SMES

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Business support centres and agencies - Local, regional and national authorities - Regional development agencies, Chamber of Commerce

    Cross-border innovation network for SMEs

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: Network
    Target: Business support centres and agencies - Local, regional and national authorities - SMEs /enterprises

    Digital interactive data-analysis platform consultable by SMEs through personalised dashboards

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: e-Infrastructure
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities - Organisations representing SMEs - SMEs /enterprises

    Sustainable Innovation methodology (service design) for SMEs in the visitor economy

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Business support centres and agencies - Regional development agencies, Chamber of Commerce - SMEs /enterprises

    A digital Innovation Toolkit with practical advice and inspiration for SMEs

    Theme: Innovation - Tourism
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Cluster organisations - Organisations representing SMEs - SMEs /enterprises