Hosted by Family

Project title: Preservation, integration and further development of traditional family businesses in tourism as a valuable cultural heritage in the cross-border area

Project acronym: Hosted by family

Programme priority: A more capable and competitive region

Specific objective: 2.2: Strengthening the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development, social inclusion and social innovation

Project type: cross-border

Project duration: 36 months

Total project value: EUR 980.440,80

Funding: The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Slovenia-Austria programme.



Project objective:

The main objective of the project is to preserve and develop family-run tourism businesses in less touristic areas.

Through cultural heritage and traditions, the transfer of good practices from Austria, optimised visitor management systems and training of tourism workers, we will help family businesses and their environment to develop their uniqueness, offer an experience (not only accommodation) to guests and achieve a higher added value with their services, instead of competing with the big accommodation providers.


Project summary:

More and more tourists are looking for “authentic” holiday destinations where regional features and centuries of cultural heritage are preserved, giving the region its special character. Such places are to be found where family businesses are still active, passing on cultural heritage from generation to generation and preserving it for the future. However, as soon as their place is taken by large international chains, this heritage and the character of the place is mostly lost forever.

This is happening more and more often, and there are several reasons for this. Small family businesses, compared to large chains, have worse platforms and conditions with booking portals, banks and suppliers. The growing labour shortages in the hospitality and catering industry in family businesses are mostly filled by family members themselves, which adds to their physical and mental strain. The natural consequence of this is the closure of the family business.

Nevertheless, family businesses have unique opportunities to survive the “race” with large hotel and catering chains.

At the start of the project, a network of 50 family businesses (25 on the Austrian side and 25 on the Slovenian side) will be established from the regions of the programme area. A comprehensive analysis of the participating businesses will identify current challenges and identify possible solutions. Based on additional expertise and an international survey of best practices, the “Hosted by family” model will be developed.

The focus of the second work package will be on training for family tourism businesses, which will provide the necessary competences to actively exploit opportunities for tourism businesses.

In the third work package, targeted public relations work will ensure that awareness is raised among the population of the unique appeal of family businesses with their centuries of history and tradition. This will be done through an online platform, a marketing campaign and a quality brochure highlighting the centuries-old cultural heritage of 50 different family farms.

At the end of the project, representatives of the younger generation in particular will be invited to develop a common vision for the future of family farms on both sides of the border, based on the various project activities and results. This vision will form the basis for a sustainable network of family business offerings.


Main project activities:

  1. Establishment of a network of tourism family businesses from Slovenia and Austria (which will be maintained after the project is finished) + survey of the entrepreneurs involved about their challenges and needs.
  2. Conducting training for tourism managers and employees tailored to small family businesses (comprehensive training to help managers run successful businesses).
  3. holding workshops and events tailored to family-run tourism businesses in Gorenjska.
  4. Study visit – example of good practice of a family business in tourism (one or more).
  5. visual presentation of all participating businesses (professional photographs of accommodation) and promotion of family businesses.
  6. Co-financing of promotional activities.
  7. development of a handbook (based on the experience gained in the project) for other providers not participating in the project.
  8. Signing of an agreement on more permanent cooperation between the municipalities, the project partners and the project participants.


Programme website:


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