CEnTOUR – Circular Economy in Tourism is a COSME project that runs from September 2020 to September 2023.

SMEs, in particular of the tourism sector, are slowly approaching the challenges of moving from a linear to a circular economy model and, given the average size, do not normally have the resources and skills to face it with the appropriate tools and references. Tourism systems are very tied systems that benefit from an integrated approach to business development, both in terms of efficiency and promotion.

CEnTOUR aims to support SMEs in the development and implementation of circular businesses (in terms of knowledge transfer, skills, innovation, certifications) within an integrated system for local development.

More specifically, this project aims to accelerate and support the capacity of SMEs in tourism to uptake sustainable solutions, proposing a focus on waste in food sector, plastic free offer and rethinking the packaging, and collaborative consumption.


To develop and test an effective support scheme for SMEs, which provides them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and the appropriate mindset and resources (also in terms of local governance) to develop innovative solutions towards a circular economy model, increasing their capacity to rethink their business models, products, and services;

To help the participating SMEs to develop and implement solutions for circular models, in particular foster brainstorming and innovative solutions through design thinking approaches, establishing communities of practice, and cross-sectoral cooperation;

To create an enduring network of institutions that can collaborate on circular economy support schemes for SMEs in the tourism sector;

To promote the exchange of practices and results at the EU level within a circular economy network of stakeholders and the development of an operational framework to replicate the business support scheme elsewhere.



Framework development on circular economy for capacity building of SMEs in the tourism sector


Capacity building of 68 SMEs supported financially by the project


Acceleration: ideation, uptake, and development of sustainable solutions adopted by SMEs focusing on waste in the food sector, plastic free offer and rethinking the packaging, as well as on collaborative consumption


Implementation, evaluation, adaptation for SMEs to run a pilot test in certification compliance, supply chain definition and agreements, adaptation of processes and products


Management and quality of both the project and the effective involvement of the 68 SMEs distributed in 5 focus-countries/regions


Communication and dissemination of the project beyond the target group

Target groups

  • 68 SMEs in the tourism sector distributed among the 5 focus-countries/regions in Italy (18), Spain (14), Moldova (12), North Macedonia (12), Greece (12)

  • Regional authorities, sectoral organisations, reached by the members of the Consortium

  • A wide range of stakeholders involved in the training, education, entrepreneurship, and innovation support at local, regional, national, and EU level