Counting Beach Visitors: Tools, Methods and Management Applications

  • Damian MorganEmail author
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 24)


Beach and coastal land managers have responsibility for the biophysical and human aspects pertaining to sensitive and valuable ecosystems. This responsibility presents complex management challenges that must consider, and often balance, multiple objectives concerning spatial, ecological, social, cultural, and economic elements. This process will commonly follow a strategic framework underpinned by plans designed to meet set objectives cognisant of limits set by acceptable change. This outcome requires accurate, relevant and timely data for good decision-making. One source of required data pertains to human use of beach environments. In this regard, a range of methods and tools exist to measure and assess this use. Decisions on suitable methods, tools and data collection strategies are made normally in the context of the benefits and costs associated with data collection purpose, intended data use, and the physical nature of the location of interest. For example, beach use estimates may be obtained using indicators such as vehicle numbers in beach-adjacent car parks. Counting technology may also be employed at suitable locales to measure and record traffic flow. Dedicated sampling methods may utilise aerial or land based imaging or direct-observer counts. Regardless of the methods used, information on human use of beach environments has a range of important and beach relevant purposes including assessment of environmental impacts, visitor safety management, planning for visitor amenities, and destination marketing. The chapter highlights the importance of suitable tools and methods to measure beach users for improving beach planning and management at local, regional and global levels.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federation Business SchoolFederation University AustraliaGippslandAustralia

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