Blue Flag or Red Herring: Do beach awards encourage the public to visit beaches?
Photo source: ©© Griffin Guiding
Abstract from, John McKenna, Allan T.Williams, J. Andrew G. Cooper, Tourism Management, 2010. (articles in press)
Surveys of beach visitor motivation in Ireland, Wales, Turkey and the USA indicate that beach awards play an insignificant role in motivation to visit beaches.
However, a number of criteria closely identified with awards, notably cleanliness and water quality, are revealed to be very important.
Aesthetic and emotional factors such as scenic setting and general ambience, and practical concerns such as proximity and range of activities available are much more important than beach awards in attracting visitors to beaches.
The merits of beach awards are critically reviewed and it is concluded that any benefits that might accrue are in areas other than attracting visitors.