The impact of tourism on coastal ...
Introduction Since 1950, international travel has been increasing to such an extent (Figure 1), that even in recent periods of economic crises it surpassed the growth rates of most other sectors. Although no statistics exist on the relative proportion of recreational, cultural or other types of tourism, it is obvious that presently, seaside vacations have worldwide become very popular. This may be due to general social and behavioural changes. These include a common belief, that coasts offer the best opportunities for leisure, physical activities and pleasure of all age and social groups. This applies to the beaches of all continents. A variety of forms of tourism have developed into modern mass phenomena more or less contempora- neously, some dating back to much earlier times, as for instance pilgrimages to holy places and visits to mineral baths. As a successor to the ���Grand Tour��� of the European nobility, the round sight-seeing con- ducted tour, invented by Thomas Cook in 1845, reached not only the sites of classical antiquity in Italy and Greece, but also some distant destinations like Egypt and India already in the 19th century. In many ways, it still has a pioneering role as ���educa- tional holiday���. In several countries it is the dominant form of tourism. Yet, a considerable number of seaside holidays, particularly of the ���Club Med���-type, are today organized as package tours. It is true that in these cases the historical attractions are frequently placed in the foreground of posters and leaflets. However, the sight-seeing programmes are, in fact, often reduced to short visits, at extra costs, of some GeoJournal 42.1: 39���54. ��� 1997 (May) Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. The impact of tourism on coastal areas Gormsen, Erdmann, Geographical Institute, University of Mainz, D-55099 Mainz, Germany Abstract: The manifold influences of tourism on coastal areas are analysed from three different angles: (1) The development of seaside tourism including the changes of socio- economic and settlement patterns (2) its cultural impact on the local population (3) its envi- ronmental aspects. Point 1 is described with the help of a model showing four peripheries in space and time: (I) the North Sea and Baltic coasts since the 18th century (II) Southern Europe during the 19th century (III) the North African shores around 1950 (IV) the tropical oceans after 1965. Within every periphery, several phases (pioneer, domestic, international) can be distinguished according to the origin of tourists, the investment, the know-how etc. While the beginning of every phase is dominated from abroad, later-on national actors play an increasing role. This applies also to point 2, which refers mainly to developing countries. As for point 3, mass tourism may result detrimentally on water supply, sensitive coastal land- scapes, socio-cultural identity etc. Among the questions to be raised are: How far are indus- trial societies responsible for any negative impacts of tourism, and what are the chances for, and a general consciousness on, a sustainable tourism development? Key words: coastal areas, peripheries, tourism Figure 1. Development of world tourism, 1950���1993. (Source: Gormsen 1996, based on Yearbook of Tourism Statistics 1994.)
more or less famous spots in the vicinity of the resorts, following the slogan ���culture and bikini���. In highly concentrated urban agglomerations with many cultural monuments as well as in certain seaside resorts, various of the above mentioned types are overlapping with business travel and with the rapidly growing conference industry. An example for such a combination was the 28th International Geographical Congress which took place at the congress centre of The Hague, close to the beaches of Scheveningen. It is an important seaside resort of the Netherlands which has been incorporated into the Dutch central government city and forms part of the large conurbation called ���Randstad Holland���. The question why seaside tourism did not develop earlier has something to do with the fact that the apparently unlimited ocean with its high waves, heavy breakwaters and powerful storms was per- ceived, in former times, to be a dangerous environ- ment which could not be controlled by man and thus was considered mythic. Without going into detail, the analysis of the early stages of coastal tourism shows that by the middle of the 18th century, the climatic conditions of the sea-shores, especially the fresh salty air, were regarded healthy whereas sea-bathing, which was carried out with the help of special bathing-carts, remained a complicated procedure, particularly for women, and was not a priority throughout the 19th century (cf. Corbin 1990 Howell 1974). From a geographical point of view some general questions can be raised as to the development of seaside tourism. Is there any spatial and temporal trend in this development? Are there some stages in the spatial development in time? Is there a gradual extension of tourism over the various parts of the world���s coastal zones? Are there positive and negative side-effects of tourism in the social and natural environment? The spatio-temporal development of seaside tourism In 1754, Dr. Richard Russel began to alter the small fishing village of Brighton into a therapeutic coastal resort, which thirty years later was made fashionable by the Prince of Wales. With the arrival of the railway in 1841, it developed further into a popular destination for the London middle-classes, and it later became a retirement town and a place of residence for daily commuters to the capital city, only 74 km away (cf. Howell 1974 Werner 1974). With the exception of the short commuting distance, Brighton served as an example for most early resorts along the Northsea and the Baltic coasts. They represented the first step in the advance of a sort of ���pioneer front���, which has moved out from the highly populated and industrialized metropolitan areas and opened up, at an ever growing rate, the increasingly more remote and less developed Peripheries. In order to describe the global expan- sion of coastal tourism, a spatio-temporal model is used, taking Europe as starting-point and applying the following criteria (Figure 2 cf. Gormsen 1981a Lundgren 1972): ��� The travel distance in historical periods to the four Peripheries. ��� The general level of technical development and the modes of travel. ��� The main types of accommodation ��� hotel, second home, ���bed and breakfast���, camping. ��� The ���regional participation��� of the local popula- tion. By this term, which is represented as the black portion of column ���A��� (in Figure 2), we understand the initiative of the inhabitants and their continuous activities in a self-determined developmental process of their own region (Sch��rmann 1986). In the first periphery, full regional participation was achieved by 1950, while external control has been dominant in the early stages of each periphery. ��� Compared with this, the participation in tourism by the different strata of the metropolitan popula- tions is indicated in column ���B���, which in the first phase of each periphery was limited to the upper classes. A completely black column means, there- fore, that tourists from all classes are participating in seaside holidays, although to varying degrees. In addition, the following aspects are taken into consideration: ��� The availability of specific tourist services. ��� The source of capital for the development of the resorts and of the infrastructure. ��� The origin of supplies: local, regional or further afield. ��� The effects of tourist traffic on the settlement patterns and the economic structure of the areas concerned. ��� The environmental stress imposed upon the coastal area. The First Periphery included the British coasts (Brighton, Blackpool, Scarborough etc.), the opposite shores (Dieppe, Oostende, Scheveningen, Norderney etc.) as well as the Baltic where, in 1793, Heiligendamm, near Bad Doberan, was made into the first German seaside resort and became the summer residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. This first stage was represented, in almost every respect, by the reigning families and the aristocracy. They built palaces and villas, that is to say the first type of ���second homes���, laid parks and pleasure grounds, and brought most of their personnel with them, with the result that the local population was only employed for menial tasks. As carriages and sailing-boats were the only forms of transport, a journey could take up to several days. Therefore people used to stay for the whole season, and the 40 E. Gormsen
coastal resorts supplemented the older mineral baths in the social calendar. Towards the mid-nineteenth century, with indus- trialisation, railway construction, and the rising middle-classes, there was a further development of this First Periphery, which could now be reached by train in only one or two days from the urban centres. The bourgeoisie not only formed part of the tourist elite but also invested in the luxurious palace hotels which were rapidly being built along promenades and on cliff-tops. They were supplemented by cultural centres, restaurants, caf��s and special tourist shops. In addition, piers were built, which stretched several hundred meters out into the sea and served mainly as an extension of the promenade, equipped with entertainment facilities. The demand for personnel increased so rapidly that additional living quarters were set up alongside the old fishing villages and hotel districts for the migrants from the rural sur- roundings. This resulted in a new local middle-class, which gradually took over the initiative and partici- pated in the further development, renting out bed and breakfast, opening small shops etc. In so doing, they achieved more and more financial independence whereas the original fishing and farming population, despite increasing income from fishing, boat-trips etc., enjoyed only a modest share in the new pros- perity. In addition to this, large numbers of migrant workers were employed in the hotels and restaurants, which were normally closed for the winter months. And exactly this peripheral character of many coastal resorts is still apparent today, namely the way the population multiplies in the hundred odd days of the summer season, offering an exciting cosmopolitan life and then, for the rest of the year, going into a sort of hibernation, including the problem of economic survival for the local people. Simultaneously with the expansion of the Baltic and North Sea resorts in the 19th century, coastal tourism reached a Second Periphery, namely the shores of southern Europe. The Italian Riviera and the French C��te d���Azur, the Venetian Lido, Trieste and Abazzia (Opatija), later Malaga and Alicante, were the rendezvous of the national and international upper-classes. On account of the favourable climate they served as health-resorts primarily in winter and spring. Here, once again, the English provided the initiative. Thus, the famous ���Promenade des Anglais��� in Nice was already finished in 1824, and it was Lord Brougham who, in 1834, launched international tourism in Cannes with a peak season in March and April (M��ller 1992). With the introduction of regular steamship services around 1850, the British clearly dominated tourism in Madeira, which, with its par- ticularly mild winter, was at that time the outermost Periphery for those wishing to spend their holidays by the seaside. Apart from this, several summer res- idences on other coasts (San Sebasti��n, Biarritz, Corfu, Yalta) also became focal health-resorts. In the period of general economic prosperity around 1900, there was a marked increase in the amount of tourist traffic. This was not only because of the rapidly growing middle classes, but also The impact of tourism on coastal areas 41 Figure 2. The spatio-temporal development of international seaside tourism. (Source: Gormsen 1981a)