What is the project ABOUT?

People love travelling. When people feel tired or exhausted their brains require a re-start. And there is no better way for a fresh start than getting new experiences and impressions – through travelling to new destinations. Thus, the tourism sector is the biggest single source for positive experiences. By their nature, human beings are and will always be looking for something new and fresh, for the yet unexplored. However, the new experiences can also become a source for the biggest frustrations and disappointments, if not done right. It is not sufficient any more to have beautiful landscapes or to be famous for monuments and museums. Any given destination is competing not just with their neighbor, it is competing with the rest of the world. It is a competition for new visitors and their money, and this competition is fierce.
What is important for the modern traveler? Among the most important features people mention availability of services offered by the tourism related enterprises in a destination. And, most crucially, the quality of these services. Otherwise, the visitors will simply choose another resort or, worse even, another destination. Therefore, lack of quality becomes a real threat for viability of small and medium tourism enterprises (SMEs).

WHAT does EXCELTOUR project do for enterprises?

Six organizations from 5 countries have partnered to offer a solution to the problem of poor service quality in tourism – usually a universal problem for small enterprises. See the partners list and information on About page.

They have united their efforts to bring the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to a new service quality level – to be able to compete with the big ones! The project introduces the concept of Business Excellence in tourism enterprises by using the internationally recognized Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). This Model not only outlines the important principles that help companies improve their management standards; it also offers a certification – criteria for recognition of compliance with its principles of excellence.

Therefore, a major goal of the project is to help the beneficiary companies to learn these principles, become certified and, most importantly, to apply these principles of excellence in their day-to-day service to visitors.

See the certification details and information on Certification page.

HOW is it done by the EXCELTOUR project?

As a first step, the project will recruit a group of skilled consultants – facilitators who are able to support SMEs to take their journey towards implementation of the EFQM Model and towards becoming certified as “Committed to Excellence”. The project will create a training package and joint facilitators’ training programme to create a unified approach and knowledge for the facilitators’ group.

Through a series of training and consultations, the beneficiary SMEs will undergo a process of significant transformation, through learning the principles of EFQM Model and learning to apply them in their work.

The small and medium enterprises will be assessed according to the certification criteria and process. See the certification details and information on Certification page.

Study visits will be organized for the participating companies to meet with other certified companies who are successfully applying the principles of the Quality Management model in their service and learn from their experience.

Finally, the project will create an opportunity, an EXCELTOUR Network venue, for the participants to be constantly in touch and learn from each other.

WHY is this project important?

The project, and especially its trans-national character, adds an important value to the target groups; it ensures sustainability of the participating companies. The results of the project are expected to have springboard and multiplier effects as described below.

The small and medium tourism companies, who will be able to apply the EFQM Model, will act as role models in their areas and abroad.

The EXCELTOUR Network will ensure that the impact and results will be sustainable and will spread to a wider geographical area during and after the project.

The study visits will not only create trans-national experience exchange, but also trans-national business linkages between the visitors and hosts, and these links can be developed into further cooperation.

The wide dissemination of the results will help make all tourism stakeholders familiar with the Business Excellence concept and will motivate them to act accordingly.

Clearly, this project is a significant investment in the project area.

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