Project budget3 890 352 €
ERDF amount2 334 211 €
Tourism plays a strong role in the regional economies of the 2 seas area and according to the UN World Tourism Organisation tourism will increase from 5 to 8% yearly in the 2seas countries. Besides income, tourism also brings mass consumption of resources (estimated global increased consumption is 92% water, 189% land (Tourism Watch)) which could strain the already limited resources of the region where tourism and other sectors compete. Tourists also tend to produce more waste than locals (European Environment Agency in Tourism and the Environment 2018), further increasing the challenge (in particular due to the seasonality) of waste and waste processing. Although demand for sustainable tourism increases, and some entrepreneurs are starting to look for circular solutions, the general approach in tourism remains linear, in part because entrepreneurs lack knowhow on how to switch to the circular approach needed to ensure that tourism continues to be economically beneficial.
FACET aims at increasing adoption of circular solutions in the tourism sector by supporting entrepreneurs in shifting from linear to circular. This will be done by demonstrating low-threshold solutions and extracting best practices, so that entrepreneurs receive hands-on knowledge and support in changing their business models. By facilitating the formation of a cooperation system for local entrepreneurs, increasing incentives, making recommendations for the removal of regulatory barriers and developing practical tools, FACET will demonstrate that quality and economic sustainability can be reinforced by circular solutions, so that circularity streamlines the entire sector and does not focus on a niche market. FACET will result in an increase of adoption of existing circular solutions among entrepreneurs in the tourism sector and
will contribute to understanding among government and business support associations of the incentives and barriers to shifting from linear to circular models.
- Cooperative models for a Circular Economy (CE) value chain, a CE joint purchasing and quadruple helix CE support groups
- Circular Economy Toolkit to increase adoption of CE solutions
- White papers to foster new regulations and a new and improved financial mechanism
- Pilots and demonstrators of Circular Economy solutions in the tourism and hospitality sector
The main target groups are entrepreneurs in the tourism sector. Other important target groups are (local) governments, business support offices, sector organisations, knowledge institutions, as well as sustainable trademarks in tourism. While not including tourists as target groups, the quality of their experience is maintained or improved, with circularity as an added benefit.
Cross border approach
The challenges of tourism in the 2 Seas area are shared by all project regions, therefore the only possible way to tackle them efficiently is through a cross-border approach. There is complementarity between the different countries in terms of knowledge and experience that will benefit the project, and FACET will put it to good use through cross-border action development teams that work together in developing and monitoring demonstrations. Sustainable tourism and leisure within the 2Seas area requires the informed participation of all relevant cross-border stakeholders to avoid any competition effect, especially considering that a large part of clientele originates from the member countries themselves, crisscrossing the area. Currently there are lots of locally or nationally driven initiatives, working in silos. FACET will collate best practices and pitfalls into a joint model that can be applied on a much larger cross-border scale.
The first year of FACET focused on developing cooperative models, conducting studies to look into motivations, regulations & financial mechanisms, building a circular economy toolkit, preparing pilots & engaging tourism stakeholders to participate in FACET.
FACET is all about increasing the adoption of circular solutions in the tourism sector. If you want tourism SMEs to adopt these in their business, it’s essential to know their specific needs & provide them with the right tools. Based on desk research 2 questionnaires have been developed: 1 to further look into their motivations to adopt circular solutions & 1 to explore the SMEs main drivers, barriers & enablers. Also the partnership has taken its first steps in facilitating the formation of cooperation systems for local SMEs: the first draft of a circular economy value chain model has been created, based on academic research combined with input from tourism SMEs during value chain meetings. The base has been set for circular economy joint purchasing & quadruple helix support groups. Inventories have been made based on desk research. These (combined with experiences from the field) will lead to recommendations to foster new regulations & improved financial mechanisms. Various tools have been developed such as evaluation, monitoring & financial performance tools, a circular business model canvas & circular business template. All the developed tools have been customised for testing in 2021 by SMEs in the different regions and will be compiled into a toolkit. The toolkit, with examples & best practices, will be uploaded to the FACET Wiki that has been created to enhance dissemination (www.facetwiki.eu).
A number of pilots have been shaped (WP3 & WP4) to work towards circular economy solutions in the tourism sector. The partnership agreed to work on 6 themes: Water management, Renewable energy, Waste management, Circular Building, Joint Purchase & Sustainable packaging. In Zeeland & Belgium tourism SMEs have already embarked for an individual coaching program towards their personal circular solutions.
The Circular support team has been put together to advise participants throughout the project. The next years, the partnership will continue to increase incentives and propose recommendations & strategies to facilitate the uptake of circular solutions.
Digital working groups have been set up per topic so that all partners can cooperate across borders, share knowledge & experiences to achieve the best results.