The eCalypso Platform , officially launched on June 12th, during a public event in Brussels, is ready to stimulate social tourism in Europe since the 1st of July.
This platform, currently running in beta version, was developed under the project “STEEP – The Social Tourism European Exchanges Platform”, which is co-funded by the European Commission and 7 partner organisations (OTIS – Organisation Internationale du Tourisme Social; SEGITUR, Floreal Holidays, UNAT – Union Nationale des Associations de Tourisme et de Plein Air, ENAT – European Network for Accessible Tourism, Hotel Siena and Legacoop) , to create a B2B (business to business) online platform to facilitate transnational tourism in Europe through social tourism.
Under the slogan “Everyone deserves a break”, the website’s goal is to stimulate the departure of holiday, throughout European countries, of four specific target groups: youth, families with low incomes, seniors, and people with disabilities. eCalypso is, therefore, a market place, where the demand for accommodation/holiday packages is linked to the associations/organisations that represent the four target groups mentioned (the packages are not directly sold to the final user). But, besides this commercial aspect, the website also gathers information on social tourism, through news, publications and best practices.
By facilitating these exchanges, this initiative will promote a stronger European citizenship, as well as off-season tourism, contributing to sustainable employment in the European tourism sector. It is also a simple method for SME’s to easily access the online world and present their offers.