Reasons for beach choice: European and Caribbean perspectives

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Abstract

Beach users’ preferences range greatly according to their cultural and educational heritage, national and local traditions, social status, sex, etc. Questionnaire surveys carried out on beach user preferences (50 beach aspects) in Wales, UK (n = 2,345); Hollywood beach, Florida, USA (n = 83), the Costa Dorada, Spain (n =157); Malta (n = 154) and Turkey’s Aegean coast (n = 245) showed that five parameters were of the greatest importance on beach choice: safety, facilities, water quality, litter and scenery. Such kind of detailed surveys has never been carried out in Caribbean countries. Consequently, a great uncertainty exists regarding beach users’ preferences. During Easter 2012, a total of 435 beach users along eight beaches of the Caribbean littoral of Colombia (Mayapo, Riohacha, Taganga, Rodadero, Puerto Colombia, Salgar, Bocagrande and Manzanillo) were interviewed. Specifically, persons were asked (i) to choose from a list of parameters, the three most important aspects to be taken into account in choosing a beach and (ii) the reason they decided to visit that specific beach. Dealing with the former, results differed from ones recorded in Europe in that scenery was deemed not to be important. Concerning the latter, great variety of responses was recorded but the main aspect in beach selection was “proximity” for both local and national visitors. Aspects such as “a relaxed friendly” atmosphere and “party atmosphere” were mentioned. In this sense, it is interesting to notice the particular perception that Caribbean beach users showed for the “relaxed friendly” atmosphere. On many occasions beaches classified as such, were very crowded and extremely noisy because of loud music and peddlers. Results obtained constitute a first step in the knowledge of Caribbean beach users’ preferences and therefore is one, which is of a great importance for beach management.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)880-885
JournalJournal Of Coastal Research
Volume65
Issue numberSI
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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