The Paphos Regional Board of Tourism (Etap) is participating in the SMARTIES for SMEs project under the COSME programme, which is aimed at enhancing competitiveness in the tourism sector by building skills.

This initiative provides a unique opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to undergo both green and digital transitions, thereby fostering innovation, resilience, and sustainability while improving service quality.

The project, which includes eight European partners from Italy, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Greece, and Cyprus, is fully funded by the European Union.

It should be noted that 60 per cent of the budget is allocated directly to local SMEs. With a total budget exceeding €3 million, the programme will run for 36 months.

Etap has outlined that 15 SMEs are expected to receive a total of €375,000 through strict application and specific selection procedures. These funds are designated for implementing actions that support the transitions. Each of the 15 selected SMEs could receive up to €25,000.

In preparation for this, applications from prospective SMEs will be accepted starting in November 2024.

Leading up to the application period, Etap plans to engage with potential beneficiaries through announcements and meetings. During these sessions, the plan’s details, selection methodology, and award criteria will be thoroughly presented.

Furthermore, Etap anticipates that in the coming weeks, SMEs will be invited to a public informative presentation.

This event will serve to introduce the initiative and discuss the potential actions that can be undertaken through the plan, providing SMEs with a clear understanding of the opportunities available.