This article is of theoretical and empirical nature. The aim of the first part of the article – the theoretical considerations – is the presentation of benefits (external) for the region, which may arise from the operation of cluster structures as relatively new business models, in particular the activities of tourism clusters. The second part of the study is based on the results of surveys. Presents the regional benefits, perceived by entities operating within the Polish tourism clusters. It also presents their opinions about the effectiveness of clusters as instruments of regional development and enhancing their competitiveness, and the impact on the smooth implementation of the concept of sustainable development. The paper also highlights the specificity of tourism clustering.