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Environmental value of beaches for the local community and tourists


  • Lidija Runko Luttenberger

    () (Komunalac d.o.o., Jurdani, Croatia)


Purpose – Bathing areas represent eternal destination for a man led by his/her pristine tendency for direct contact with nature. However, the sustainability of and the access to this delicate part of the already vulnerable coastal system is endangered by human activities such as shore industrialization, residential development, poor wastewater and stormwater management, soil impermeability, road construction and occupation thereof for private interests. In Croatia, the number, size and natural character of beaches is diminished, while seawater and air in coastal areas is increasingly polluted. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that in the case of beaches, the interest of public health, being a pronounced anthropocentric interest, coincides with the interest of maintaining healthy ecosystems and that balance of benefits and damages ensuing from present coastline development may hardly outdo overall rewards provided by healthy beach environment both for the local community and tourists. Design – The paper reviews beneficial effects of sea water, draws attention to the role of the beach, provides historical overview of urban beaches in Rijeka bay, elaborates pollution and land use threats to coasts and focuses on the challenges to environmental values of beaches in the region. Methodology –As the problem must be observed in depth and with holistic focus, the author applied qualitative research based on observations, author’s own experience, and the reports on previous research concerning in particular the urban beaches of Rijeka bay. Approach –Research approach is inductive. Findings – Urban beaches should be expanded both physically and visually to the detriment of non-profitable and polluting time-limited industrial sectors. Also, the construction in coastal hinterland, especially on karst soil, should be the object of particular attention of physical planning activities. Originality – The research is original as it establishes the relationship between overall quality of the environment and bathing area purpose and elaborates the case of globally significant geographical location.

Suggested Citation

  • Lidija Runko Luttenberger, 2014. "Environmental value of beaches for the local community and tourists," Tourism and Hospitality Industry section2-3, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:tho:iscthi:section2-3

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    beach; bathing area; environmental value; public health; land use threats; tourism;

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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