This chapter addresses the main research question: “How can tourism SMEs from European Union better adapt in a digital world?”. In particular, it stresses the support which may be provided for the digital transformation of European tourism SMEs. This chapter will also present and discuss possible strategies and policy actions that may be taken into consideration for a sustainable adoption of digitalisation by tourism SMEs.
Support is identified as the key tool for tourism SMEs to succeed in a digitalising world. Most of the interviewees argue that SMEs need support in finding their path to digitalisation. Support can be seen from different perspectives, there can be support for knowledge, understanding of new digital technologies or financial or technical support. These various levels of support could enhance the uptake of digitalisation by tourism SMEs from the European Union. Different types of support may be provided by various tourism stakeholders which will be further presented and discussed.
Further reading from page 57 on :
Levels of digitalisation vary across Europe. The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)18 summarises five key indicators of digital performance in Europe and is designed to benchmark progress towards digitalisation of member states. Regulatory frameworks, policy approaches towards economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship, labour policies, and even social welfare models can act to either support or slow down the progress towards digitalisation. The DESI points to a broad pattern where the social models differ within Europe’s welfare system. The DESI illustrates that Nordic countries demonstrate higher levels of digitalisation, and that Eastern and Southern European states are generally characterised by lower levels of digitalisation.
Other relevant links:
- Eurostat 2020 indicators – R&D and innovation. (2018). https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Europe_2020_indicators_- _R%26D_and_innovation#Key_messages
- European Union SMEs in Global Value Chains. (2016). https://ec.europa.eu/growth/content/eu-smes-global-value-chains-0_en