Project budget2 915 773 €
ERDF amount1 749 464 €
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.
The overall objective is to raise the profitability of the tourism entrepreneurs in the 2 Seas coastal economies by developing a strategy for innovation. By working on cross-border level, we create a critical mass to deliver framework conditions to improve innovation within these businesses.
By identifying the values of our destinations and using them in our business, by knowing our customers’ needs and very important our customers’ behaviour and by following trainings and coaching on innovation, these SMEs will be able to improve their services and products.
- Digital interactive data-analysis platform consultable by SMEs through personalised dashboards
- Sustainable Innovation methodology (service design) for SMEs in the visitor economy
- Approach for training and coaching businesses
- Strategy with action plan to stimulate innovation in SMEs
- Digital Innovation Toolkit with practical advice and inspiration for SMEs
- Cross-border innovation network for SMEs
Cross border approach
The common challenge requires a broader perspective beyond country borders. We will share knowledge and practice to improve the framework conditions for sustainable innovation for tourism SMEs. We will develop one digital interactive data platform that is relevant locally, nationally and transnationally, unlocking data and knowledge from all partner regions.
All partners have expertise in different areas and will lead on the actions according to their competences. Working with SMEs from 4 countries will make critical mass for innovation possible.
PROFIT focused on stimulating new investments in coastal tourism SMEs across the 2seas region by helping to create new products and services.
2019 was characterised by an ambitious SME focused innovation programme that identified a number of specific challenges including “Product Development”, “Digital Marketing”, “Business Management” & “Collaboration”. It involved over 647 SME representatives participating in 35 Master Classes from which 164 tourism SMEs were able to benefit from customised 1-2-1 coaching, 95 bespoke innovation plans with support of 119 experts. 44 supporting experts shared their findings at a cross-border think tank with participation from all regions.
The innovation plan journey involved inspiration. This took the form of 2 inspiration visits in 2019 that benefitted rapid knowledge acquisition, sharing costs and developed a first-class programme that showed how increased collaboration between SMEs can be a powerful driver for change in the tourism sector.
The digital innovation platform hosts content from all 5 regions. The platform received 23,500-page views, 3,100 registered users and 5,480 separate visits.
PROFIT issued 53 newsletters, hosted 10 networking events hosted involving 721 SMEs to interest others in the process. 5 videos were produced, one of which underlined succinctly the benefits of being involved in an innovation project for tourism SMEs.
PROFIT has been a great example of the power of collaboration, highlighting that great things can be achieved by working together on a cross border level. SME engagement grew during the project as a result and will improve the way we work with our SMEs in the future. We set out 3 years ago with some ambitious targets that we have achieved and in addition we have made a real impact on the innovation and growth capacity of both those SMEs that participated and our own organisations.