Competitiveness has been the main focus of the recents decades, in both developed and developing economies. A special interest has been given to the issue of raising competitiveness, as a way to achieve sustainable development. The domains of interest for this concern are varied, from IT to Agriculture, Finance or Arts. Tourism is not by far the exeption, as many countries either rely mainly on tourism activities in their economies or have discovered that this sector of the economy is one of the best ways to choose in order to grow and exit the dangerous area of the financial crisis. There are however issues to consider regarding the tourism competitiveness and those have economic, social and environmental grounds. Companies have struggled to go the extra mile in order to grow and become more competitive. However companies - big, medium or small – face great dillemas when considering the ongoing pressure of the competitive tourism market, the specific requirements of tourists and the global trend for more sustainability. The research gap this article adresses relates to how companies can focus on and eventually achieve balancing these aspects. Is tourism competitiveness easier to achieve when counting on collaboration networks? Are tourism clusters a solution for the oftenly encountered problem of balancing sustainability with local communities welfare, environmental duty and economic benefits? The implications of the research provide suggestions for future improvements in the field of developing tourism clusters in Romania.
Keywords: competitiveness, tourism competitiveness, sustainable development, tourism clusters