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The sun, sea and sand model that has characterized the Spanish tourism sector and has caused Spain’s tourist sector to become a world-class industry is actually undergoing drastic changes. This model is based on the existence of major tourism destinations characterized by high levels of industry specialization, which makes them a target of analysis as tourism clusters in which the geographic concentration of synergies reinforces the competitive position. In this study, Spanish tourism clusters are identified using quantitative methods and the current validity of the economies of location that have made them possible are also analyzed. Although all the identified clusters can be defined as mature and became less significant during the last decade in Spanish tourism, according to the results the creation of externalities measured in terms of higher generation of profit is higher in companies belonging to the tourism clusters than in those outside of them.


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© Taylor & Francis. Final version published as Segarra-Oña, M., Miret-Pastor, L. G., Peiro-Signes, A., & Verma, R. (2012). The effects of localization on economic performance: Analysis of Spanish tourism clusters. European Planning Studies, 20(8), 1319-1334.