Within the globalized tourism market, tourism destinations have the option to turn to sustainability as a conceptual and management framework for their unique branding and identity proposition. This research highlights the importance and utility of sustainability branding that stems from clustering tourism destinations based on the similarities of their tourism performance attributes. The study builds on secondary data from 11 coastal destinations in 8 Mediterranean countries. The analysis leads to the formulation of three main sets of evaluation indicators: (a) environmental footprint; (b) destination dependency on tourism; and (c) locals’ prosperity, incorporating elements of social and psychological carrying capacity. Findings identify three to four distinct destination clusters based mainly on the attributes of destinations’ cultural and natural attributes, seasonality of supply, typology of prevailing accommodation and tourist profile. From a theoretical perspective, the research identifies key clustering attributes of sustainable destinations that could inform management interventions around destination branding and competitive sustainability performance positioning.
- sustainability indicators
- sustainable tourism destinations