Funded by the EU Single Market programme and launched in January 2023, the First Mile project is a dynamic collaboration that unites 6 partners from 5 European countries. Until December 2025, we’ll be working tirelessly towards making tourism more sustainable!

Our objective: To Accelerate Sustainability in Tourism SMEs thanks to behavioral sciences. 

The mission of the First Mile project is to use the power of behavioral sciences to shape solutions that not only drive the post-COVID-19 recovery of tourism SMEs but also improve the sustainability of their operations, even with limited resources. Knowledge about human behavior can fuel behavior change approaches that produce immediate effects while requiring little investment.

How we will achieve it

The First Mile Project will support 80 SMEs spread across France, Norway, Italy, and Slovenia. These SMEs will have the opportunity to implement and experiment with behavior tactics to enhance their operations and make them more sustainable. With the tools and knowledge acquired during this process, we hope to create a ripple effect.

The first mile to a better tourism
Starts with the first step!

Make sustainability easy and effortless.

By making sustainable choices easier to make and act on, we increase the likelihood that the decision maker will select them without the need to make an effort.

Support sustainability choices with awareness.

By ensuring that the information is provided in a targeted manner at the point of decision when it can influence the choice.

Make sustainability the default option.

By setting the most sustainable option as the default option significantly increases the rate with which it is picked up, often without making any significant difference for the decision maker.

Make sustainability appealing as a market advantage, economic privilege.

By making sustainable options the most appealing alternative among the ones available to choose from.

Making sustainability the norm

Framing the desired behavior as the local norm makes it more likely to adhere to it.

First Mile Tactics to Better Tourism

The First Mile tactics (actions) aim to improve tourism SMEs’ sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint & environmental impact. They are especially focused on the following priorities:

Reduce waste

Encourage green mobility

Reduce energy consumption

Improve visitor flow management

Reduce water consumption

Promote local food


AViTeM is the French Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities & Territories (Agence des Villes & Territoires Méditerranéens durables). Its main objective is to foster sustainability transitions in the Euro-Mediterranean area, from an environmental, economic, and socio-cultural point of view. To do so, it develops European projects, organizes trainings, and promotes cross-border and international cooperation. Here are some of its key areas of intervention: tourism, preservation of heritage, adaptation to climate change, nature-based solutions, youth employment, circular economy, waste management and territorial resilience. More information: https://avitem.fr/en.

BehaviourSMART (BES) is the holder of the highly specialized expertise in the application of behavioural sciences and tourism. The experts from the organization include a leading behavioural expert in tourism, experts in climate change and sustainability. More information: https://behavior-smart.com/

MIMIR AS has over 25 years of experience supporting SMEs and tourism destinations through advisory services, coaching, capacity building, market insights, innovation programs, sustainability and strategic planning. More information: https://mimir.no/Radgiverereiseliv

Open Tourisme Lab (OTL) is an innovation agency dedicated to the tourism sector organizing its activities around 3 synergistic businesses:

  • Designer & operator of start-up support programs, with over a hundred start-ups supported since 2017 for a 90% sustainability rate.
  • Designer of innovative services & eco-systems to support public and private players in pursuing innovation approaches using agile and creative methods.
  • Creator and operator of inspiring professional events to bring together the world of innovation and traditional tourism players.

More information: https://www.opentourismelab.com/

The Italian Association for Responsible Tourism (AITR) has over 25 years of experience in cooperation, development, training and research projects in Italy, the EU and globally with primary focus on tourism businesses and specifically SMEs. More information: https://www.aitr.org/

Turizem Bohinj DMO is recognized as a leading destination in Slovenia where sustainability has been integrated as a non-negotiable principle of tourism on national level for many years. Turizem Bohinj was the first destination to achieve Platinum status under the national program Slovenia Green. It has traditions in working hand in hand with local tourism businesses and communities. More information: https://www.bohinj.si/