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Morgan, R., Gatell, E., Junyent, R., Micallef, A., Ãzhan, E., Williams, A.T.: An improved user-based beach climate index. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 6: 41-50, 2000.


Abstract. In many coastal resort areas of the world, it is likely that optimal climatic conditions for beach use might occur outside the peak of the tourist season. Investigation of this issue together with associated publicity might help to spread the tourism load and hence reduce undesirable social and environmental effects of extreme seasonality in tourist demand. For this to take place, better knowledge of beach user preferences in terms of climate and bathing water temperature is required. Questionnaire surveys were carried out in Wales, Malta and Turkey to establish the preferences of north European beach users for thermal sensation and bathing water temperature, plus priority levels for other climatic attributes. A user-based beach climate index based on these preferences and priorities was formulated. Linkage was made between the user-generated ratings for various climatic conditions and published climate data to evaluate most major Euro-Mediterranean/ Black Sea and a range of other beach tourism areas on a month-by-month basis. Results showed excessively hot thermal sensation in many southern and eastern Mediterranean coastal destinations during July and August, the present peak of the beach tourism season. Highest preference was given to water temperatures rather lower than those found in these areas during late summer. Many long haul coastal destinations popular with north European visitors had similar unpleasant thermal sensations over several months. Uncertainties and deficiencies still exist with the system, but from the point of view of north European beach users the final scores generated in this study may be regarded as good approximations of the quality of resort area climates for sedentary beach use.

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