Urban beaches as social tourism installations: case studies of Paris Plage and Bristol Urban Beach 2007
Gale, T. (2010) Urban beaches as social tourism installations: case studies of Paris Plage and Bristol Urban Beach 2007. In: Cole, S. and Morgan, N., eds. (2010) Tourism and Inequality: Problems and Prospects. Wallingford: CABI Publishing, pp. 183-193. ISBN 9781845936907
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Urban beaches have become a feature of many European cities in the summer months, on the pretext of providing an alternative recreational space for residents on low incomes. Accordingly, this chapter extends the discussion of social tourism elsewhere in this volume to encompass the urban beach as a means of addressing, or compensating for, non-participation in leisure travel on the part of the least mobile in (post)modern society. It commences with a background to the development of urban beaches in the UK and continental Europe, before introducing Paris Plage and Bristol Urban Beach 2007 as, arguably, the best known and most recent examples thereof (at the time of writing). Through a combination of secondary and primary research (including a visitor survey), the chapter then evaluates the sustainability and social tourism credentials of the urban beach, ending with a commentary on the enablements and constraints to realizing more sustainable and inclusive forms of tourism through innovations such as this.