Along Mediterranean coastlines, beach tourism represents one of the main economic resources of coastal regions. In the context of increase of coastal hazards, large management projects are currently undertaken and the evaluation of beach use is an important parameter coastal managers have to take into account in their strategies to reduce risk and maintain the recreational capacity of the beach. This contribution proposes an automatic tool to evaluate beach attendance and beach users behavior. After validating the results, an analysis of the beach attendance at the Lido of Sete Beach, on the French Mediterranean coast, is performed. Both temporal and spatial patterns are obtained and analyzed together with environmental, meteorological, social parameters of the site. Results indicate that beach attendance and beach user locations are mostly driven by meteorological conditions, while the density indicates that most of the beach users are locals or excursionists, rather than tourists. The results of the total beach attendance during the year 2012 clearly evidence an important increase of the frequentation since the large costal management project that was implemented during the last years. Given the large number of images and video available at many coastlines, the developed methodology and tool would be useful in many coastal management applications around the world.
Automatic assessment and analysis of beach attendance using video images at the lido of Sète beach, France
8 January 2015