It is recognized that the tourism sector in the Black Sea Basin countries has a very positive impact on employment and income, as it is one of the fastest-growing sectors with high growth potential. However, nowadays, due to the strong international competition, the natural beauty of the landscape, the monuments and/or other sights are not enough for a destination to be characterised as attractive, diversified and competitive. Among other important features of the tourism product, a dominant role is played by the enterprises operating in the field and their capacity to offer services of high quality which satisfy the customers and ensure sustainability of the industry. As the tourism market is growing, it is getting more and more demanding for the enterprises to combine better services with competitive prices. Otherwise, the customers are reoriented to big resorts or, at worst, to different destinations. In any case, this fact, combined with the financial crisis, is a real long-term threat for the viability of the vast majority of tourism microenterprises.

Noravank Exceltour

Through the project “EXCELTOUR”, the 6 partners from 5 countries aim at tackling this challenge by introducing & applying the concept of Business Excellence in tourism SMEs using the internationally recognized Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) targeting mainly to ensure SUSTAINABILITY of tourism. The sequence of activities towards this objective is as follows:
✓ 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
✓ SMEs preparation for certification
✓ SMEs assessment and certification
✓ Experience exchange (study visits) and Networking


The project and especially its transnational character adds value offering important benefits to its target groups and ensuring sustainability and is expected to have springboard and multiplier effect:

– 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, assures the sustainability and transferability of the outputs and results in a wider geographical area and after the project.
– Apart of 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.
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.

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