Local identity is an integral concept, which comprises landscape, culture, traditions, and inhabitants on a distinguished place. It serves as a strategic tool for the development of local territories and communities. In the context of the tourist product, local identity plays a key role for shaping and imposing the tourist appearance of a certain tourist destination. Under Dionysos project, within V-A Interreg Greece-Bulgaria 2017-2020 a series of studies were conducted, which aim at revealing the typical features, composing/performing the local identity of the Sakar-East Rhodopi region. To achieve this purpose, a complex methodology was applied, including the following methods: in-depth interview, questionnaire research and observation. Based on the gained results from the analysis, concrete suggestions, related to the development and imposing of the local identity of the region, are derived. The provided information could serve the business organizations in the tourist sector, as well as the local government and non-government institutions. The proposed tools correspond to the up-to-date trends in the consumer demand of tourist product. They are a prerequisite for the sustainable development of the region within its economic, social, and cultural dimensions.
Key words: local identity, tourist destination, development