In the tourism sector, sustainability has become a principal goal in destination management to strengthen the competitiveness and attractiveness of destinations. However, when it comes to sustainability, there is no absolute scale to conduct spatial analysis. In this article, we propose regions as a unit of analysis for sustainability assessments. Our empirical approach aims to assign regional variability to national indicators, which would make it possible to achieve a good compromise between data availability and comparability and the value of scaling down to consider local details. This approach would enable combining rich information sets based on existing indicators with the wide availability of quantitative regional indicators freely obtainable from official statistics sources, such as Eurostat. Using the Tourism & Travel Competitiveness Index framework as a starting point, we develop regional sustainability indicators for the 281 NUTS-2 European regions. Therefore, this article contributes to the regionalisation of national indicators, which enables monitoring not only the individual level of destination sustainability but also its standing among all other European regions. Moreover, we develop a practical tool for continuously monitoring and benchmarking EU regions’ sustainable development, which can assist stakeholders in their decision-making processes.
- Tourism sustainability indicators
- environmental indicators
- regional sustainability