It is universally recognized that the tourism sector has a very positive impact on employment and income, as it is one of the fastest-growing sectors with high growth potential. This is true for the Black Sea Basin countries as well.
However, nowadays, due to the strong international competition, for a destination to be characterized as attractive, diversified and competitive, it is not enough to have the natural beauty of the landscape, the monuments, and/or other sights.
The quality of service offered by the enterprises operating in the field, is perhaps, the most critical factor to satisfy the customers and ensure the sustainability of a tourism destination.
As the tourism market is growing, it is getting more and more difficult for enterprises to combine high-quality services with competitive prices. If customers are not satisfied, they will look for other resorts or, even worse, for different destinations. This fact, combined with the financial crisis, is a real long-term threat to the viability of most tourism microenterprises.
Through the “EXCELTROUR” Project, six partners from five countries aim at tackling this challenge by introducing & applying the concept of Business Excellence in the tourism SMEs, using the internationally recognized Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). The major goal of the project is to ensure SUSTAINABILITY of tourism in partner countries. The following activities towards this objective will be implemented during the project:
✓ Creation of a group of skilled consultants/ facilitators, able to support SMEs towards the implementation of the EFQM Model and their certification as Committed to Excellence (training package, joint facilitators’ training programme)
✓ Creation of a transnational facilitators’ registry
✓ Preparation of SMEs for certification
✓ Assessment and certification of SMEs
✓ Experience exchange (study visits) and Networking.
The EXCELTOUR project, and especially its transnational character, is expected to have springboard and multiplier effects; it adds value by offering the following important benefits to its beneficiaries and ensuring sustainability:
– The SMEs that will apply the EFQM Model will act as role models in their areas and abroad.
– The EXCELTOUR Network that will be created as an outcome of the project, assures sustainability and transferability of the outputs and results to a wider geographical area and after the project.
– In addition to the transnational experience exchange, the study visits will create transnational business links between visitors and hosts and those links can be developed into further cooperation.
The project was launched on July 3, 2020, and will last 2 years.
Please visit the EXCELTOUR project website for more information on EFQM Certification Model and the project activities.
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Development Principles NGO and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.