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Jędrzejczak, M.F.. The modern touristâs perception of the beach: Is the sandy beach a place of conflict between tourism and biodiversity?. In: Schernewski, G., Löser, N. (eds.). BaltCoast 2004 - Managing the Baltic Sea. Coastline Reports (2), pp. 109-119. EUCC - The Coastal Union, 2004.


As economic growth gave people more free time, since the 1950s coastal areas have become increasingly desirable holiday destinations, and beach tourism has grown at an enormous rate, becoming a mass phenomenon. Next to their ecological importance as bio-filters, sandy beaches in Europe tend to be of great economic value through tourism. Although, modern tourists are largely peaceful, tourism itself creates much damage to the environment. Nowadays a common feature of the European seas is the diffusion of plastic debris on the coasts, either abandoned by beach users or deposited by the sea during storms. There are some 4 to 8 million tourists vacationing each year on Polish beaches. What is the purpose of their visit to the beach? What things do they most dislike there? What is the perfect coastal landscape of the sea for them? What is their imagination of the beach life? Questionnaire surveys, carried out during summer 2003, aimed at ascertaining what public opinion was/is regarding the beach, were useful to answer these questions. At each site, from 80 to 160 people filled out the questionnaires asking what their opinion was of the beach, scenery, animals and aesthetics. In a modern, democratic society, the public stakeholders, not the experts are having the final word. It creates, however, problems with public opinion: there is seldom direct experience (visual, practical), and there is no common perception of values. Do we really have similar values? For many, the plastic net covers on cliffs and the coastal motorways are more attractive than underdeveloped shore.

PDF: Jedrzejczak.pdf (655.143 Bytes)