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Objectives and goals of the funding programme

The Program’s overarching goal is to support, through lifelong learning, the intellectual, professional, and personal growth of people involved in education, training, youth, and sport in Europe and beyond, fostering innovation and fostering a stronger sense of European identity and active citizenship. As a result, the Programme will be a crucial tool for creating the European Education Area, supporting the implementation of the sectoral objectives that underpin European strategic cooperation in the field of education and training. Additionally, it is crucial for growing the European dimension in sport and advancing youth policy cooperation under the European Union Youth Strategy 2019–2027.

Type of Programme

Erasmus+ Programme

Funding type/type of support


Organizational level


Programme Focus

Skills, Staff Upskilling & Reskilling, Student Mobility, Staff Mobility, Culture and Sports

Programme relevant for/ target group

Academic institution, Natural persons (private individuals), SMEs and micro companies, VET Providers

Geographic area

European Union

The Erasmus+ program encompasses three Key Actions, and each of them can support VET providers and SMEs in the tourism sector in different ways. Let’s break down the support provided by each of these actions:

Key Action 1 focuses on providing opportunities for individuals to enhance their skills and competencies through learning mobility. This action can support VET providers and SMEs in the tourism sector in the following ways:

  1. Student and Staff Mobility: VET providers can send their students and staff on mobility experiences within Europe to gain exposure to international perspectives, languages, and cultural diversity. For SMEs in tourism, this means they can collaborate with VET institutions to host students for work-based learning experiences or training. This promotes a strong connection between education and the world of work.
  2. Professional Development: Tourism SMEs can send their staff for training or job shadowing in other European countries to acquire new skills, innovative practices, and knowledge relevant to the industry. This is especially beneficial for SMEs looking to upskill or reskill their workforce.
  3. Networking and Partnership Building: VET providers and tourism SMEs can use mobility programs to establish international partnerships and networks. These collaborations can lead to joint projects, research, and curriculum development that benefit both the educational and business sectors.

Key Action 2 promotes collaboration and innovation among organizations, including VET providers and SMEs in the tourism sector. Here’s how it supports them:

  1. Strategic Partnerships: VET providers can form strategic partnerships with tourism SMEs to develop innovative practices and materials that address specific sectoral needs. These partnerships can lead to the creation of new curricula, training modules, and teaching methods tailored to the tourism industry’s requirements.
  2. Sector Skills Alliances: Sector Skills Alliances are designed to address skills gaps and enhance the employability of VET learners. In the tourism sector, VET providers and SMEs can collaborate on projects aimed at improving the skills and competencies of the workforce. This can result in more job-ready graduates and employees.

Knowledge Alliances: VET providers, SMEs, and other stakeholders in the tourism sector can participate in Knowledge Alliances to promote the exchange of knowledge and good practices. These alliances encourage the development of innovative teaching and learning methods that align with industry needs.

Key Action 3 focuses on supporting policy reform and aims to facilitate the modernization and improvement of education and training systems. For VET providers and SMEs in the tourism sector, this action can have the following impacts:

  1. Policy Development and Implementation: VET providers can engage with policymakers and industry representatives to advocate for policy changes that better support the needs of the tourism sector. This might involve aligning curricula with industry requirements, addressing accreditation and recognition issues, and improving the quality of VET.
  2. Quality Assurance: Key Action 3 encourages the development and implementation of quality assurance mechanisms in education and training. VET providers and SMEs can work together to ensure that the skills and competencies taught in VET programs meet industry standards and are regularly updated to reflect the changing demands of the tourism sector.
  3. Cross-Sector Collaboration: VET providers and SMEs in tourism can collaborate with other sectors to share best practices and influence broader policy developments. This can lead to a more holistic and integrated approach to education and training that benefits the entire economy.

The Program’s overall indicative budgetary envelope from the EU Budget for the seven years (2021-2027) is greater than 26 billion EUR.

The funding amounts can vary depending on the specific type of project and the activities involved.

Entities eligible to apply for Erasmus+ funding include higher education institutions, vocational education and training providers, schools, youth organizations, SMEs (including tourism-related businesses), non-profit organizations, public authorities, professional associations, and industry bodies. Eligibility varies by action and funding period, so specific guidelines should be consulted for each opportunity.

The Erasmus+ program supports a wide range of projects and activities across the fields of education, training, youth, and sport. Here is a list of types of projects or activities eligible for funding under Erasmus+.

Mobility Projects for VET Providers and Tourism Students (Key Action 1):

  • VET Student Mobility: Supports vocational students, including those in the tourism sector, to undertake internships, apprenticeships, and training in other European countries.
  • Staff Mobility for VET Providers: Funds the mobility of VET educators and trainers in the tourism field to enhance their teaching and training competencies.

Strategic Partnerships in VET and Tourism (Key Action 2):

  • Cooperation Projects in VET: Encourages collaborations between VET providers and tourism-related businesses to develop innovative curriculum, training materials, and work-based learning opportunities.
  • Sector Skills Alliances in Tourism: Promotes partnerships between VET institutions and tourism SMEs to address skills gaps and ensure VET programs align with industry needs.

Capacity-Building Projects in VET and Education (Key Action 2):

  • Capacity-Building in the Field of VET: Supports projects to enhance the quality of VET systems, curriculum, and teacher training, specifically relevant to the tourism sector.
  • Capacity-Building in Higher Education (Tourism): Aims to improve higher education in fields related to tourism by strengthening institutions in partner countries.

Innovation Projects in Education and Training:

  • Innovative Practices in VET and Tourism: Encourages the development and dissemination of innovative practices in vocational education and training, particularly in the tourism sector.

Cultural and Creative Projects (Tourism-related):

  • Collaborative Projects in the Field of Tourism and Culture: Supports projects that encourage cooperation and exchanges in the cultural and creative sectors, which may relate to tourism activities.

The EU’s program for youth, sport, and education is called Erasmus+. These are important aspects that aid people in developing both personally and professionally. The goals of the Digital Education Action Plan, the European Youth Strategy, the European Union Work Plan for Sport, and the European Education Area are all supported by Erasmus+.

Social inclusion, the ecological and digital transitions, as well as encouraging youth involvement in democratic life, are all areas where Erasmus+ places a lot of emphasis. It strives to be a program for everyone by becoming more accessible to small businesses and inclusive of those with fewer possibilities. The program offers organizations collaboration, capacity building, exchanges, networking, and policy support.  Reforms are also being undertaken in the fields of youth, sport, education, and training. Additionally, Erasmus+ wants to support its partners’ long-term growth in higher education and help the EU Youth Strategy achieve its goals.

  • Reducing unemployment, especially among young people,
  • Increasing adult learning, especially for new skills necessary by the job market;
  • Encouraging young people to participate in European democracy;
  • supporting innovation, cooperation, and change
  • Decreasing early school departure
  • Fostering collaboration and mobility with EU partner nations

The Erasmus+ program may emphasize certain themes or areas within the tourism industry as priority areas during specific funding cycles. These priorities can evolve from one program cycle to another. While I cannot provide information on the latest priorities beyond my last knowledge update in September 2021, I can offer some general areas that have traditionally been of interest in the context of tourism and education under Erasmus+:

  1. Sustainable Tourism: Erasmus+ has shown a strong interest in promoting sustainable tourism practices. Projects that focus on sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, and responsible travel have been well-received.
  2. Cultural Heritage and Tourism: Initiatives related to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, including heritage tourism, have been supported.
  3. Digitalization in Tourism: As the tourism industry increasingly relies on technology, projects related to the digital transformation of the tourism sector, including e-tourism and online marketing, may be a priority.
  4. Tourism Management and Entrepreneurship: Projects that aim to enhance tourism management skills and support entrepreneurship in the tourism sector are often encouraged.
  5. Tourism and Rural Development: Projects that explore the link between tourism and rural development, including agritourism and rural tourism, have been of interest.
  6. Culinary Tourism and Gastronomy: Initiatives that explore culinary tourism, food experiences, and gastronomic tourism can align with cultural and tourism priorities.
  7. Tourism and Intercultural Dialogue: Promoting intercultural understanding through tourism and encouraging cultural exchanges between tourists and local communities have been areas of interest.
  8. Accessible Tourism: Initiatives focused on making tourism more accessible to individuals with disabilities and other diverse needs have been encouraged.
  9. Tourism Marketing and Promotion: Projects related to destination marketing, promotion, and branding may align with the Erasmus+ program’s goals.

Innovation in Tourism Services: Projects that aim to innovate and improve tourism services, such as tour guiding, hospitality, and customer service, may be supported.

Project Title: Tourism Research Innovation And Next Generation Learning Experience


The goal of the TRIANGLE Project, which ran from November 2016 to October 2019, was to link research and education with tourism SMEs by creating a knowledge alliance of Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) around Europe. The alliance was founded by more than 22 HEIs across 18 nations. The main objective was to transform the Tourism 2030 Knowledge Base into a collaborative online learning environment that addresses issues related to sustainability in the travel industry. This platform offered networking opportunities, mentorship, internships, and formal and informal education.

In order to advance sustainability innovations, such as product and service certification, environmental impact reduction, cost savings, and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) practices, the initiative involved students and SMEs. Students in the pilot program acquired auditing skills for sustainable tourism. While encouraging sustainability and accountability, HEIs, SMEs, and students increased their competitiveness in the global tourism sector.

In terms of knowledge base building, course construction, internship programs, and SME mapping, the initiative achieved its program objectives. In order to further sustainability education, fortify ties to protected areas, and support UN Agenda 2030 targets 8, 12, 13, 14, and 15, a post-project framework was formed.

EU Contribution: 809.461,00 €