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Tourism is a major component of economic growth all over the world. Especially in coastal areas where it is also a for sustainable development. Tourism is expected to exert an increasing influence on coastal landscape, ecosystem and cultural heritage management.

Coastal tourism, as well as tourism in general, is to a large extent dependant on an environment that is attractive to visitors. Consequently, protection of natural and cultural heritage is a precondition for sustainable coastal tourism. Protecting areas and sites constitutes an efficient and necessary way of safeguarding natural and cultural heritage. Therefore, such areas contribute strongly to sustainable coastal tourism, even though a sound balance between protection and development has to be strived for in each individual case.

This is why the nations of the world have committed themselves to the sustainable development of their natural and cultural heritage by signing international agreements. Some of them specifically address coastal zones but the majority is more general and wide ranging.

Natural heritage includes biodiversity, natural scenery, value for outdoor recreation, etc. and is best managed in line with the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Two main objectives of the Convention are:

  1. the conservation of biological diversity;
  2. the sustainable use of its components.


Exercise for user

List at least six typical problems caused by recreational activities in coastal areas.


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