The paper contributes to the theoretical debate about the determinants of a tourist destination's quality; it proposes a model to evaluate the international attractiveness of a tourist destination. This model assumes that the destination's attractiveness is based on the value it generates for the tourists. The paper describes analytically five "primary" capabilities and three "transversal" capabilities which determine the overall capability to produce value for the tourists. The first set includes the most relevant capabilities that allow the tourist to fulfill the activites from which he or she gets value; these are the capabilities to i) communicate; ii) receive; iii) give hospitality; iv) entertain; v) astonish. The second set includes the capabilities to: i) integrate; ii) harmonize; iii) create economic value. The paper studies the specific factors most relevant to determine these capabilities and their evolution; it also suggests a set of indicators to measure them. A method to classify a tourist destination is also defined.