The modern American beach holiday was invented in Britain in the late 18th century largely due to medical prescriptions at the time. Many contemporary doctors believed that bathing in cold, salty, and turbulent sea waves was beneficial for conditions they called “melancholy” and “spleen”— an excess of black bile that made people introverted, depressed, cautious, or moody. These periodic cold ocean baths were viewed as a method of toughening up patients. This idea of using the beach as a remedy paved the way to the common-day notion of a beach holiday. Now, beaches are used all over the word, especially for vacations; hence, they need to be managed. ISO 13009:2015: Tourism And Related Services – Requirements And Recommendations For Beach Operation details requirements for beach operation management systems.
The History of the Beach Vacation
The modern American beach holiday was invented in Britain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries as factories started spreading. Tourism and industrialization went in tandem since people had both the desire and ability to escape the city. Visiting the seaside gradually became a kind of competitive activity among Britain’s upper classes as a way to flee the drudgery of modern life.
In 1783, the Prince of Wales, who would later become King George IV, visited Brighton after being advised that bathing in the sea would help his gout. In the decades that followed, the fashion spread through the elite. For example, in Jane Austen’s ” (published in 1815), the main character’s hypochondriac father endlessly debates the health benefits of Britain’s various beaches with his upper-class friends. Railroads built through Britain in the early 19th century made a trip to the ocean affordable even for the lower classes, allowing the beach to be used by all classes. By the late 1800s, Blackpool had become the world’s first working-class seaside resort in the world.
The seaside vacation had become one of Britain’s cultural exports. By the early 19th century, seaside resorts were appearing in Normandy, southwestern France, northern Germany, Belgium, and Scandinavia. Soon afterwards commercial sea-bathing reached the Spanish Atlantic coast, and later it reached the Mediterranean, especially the French and Italian Riviera. By the late 19th century, the seaside resorts had spread to America—initially the New England coast and then gradually to the Mid-Atlantic and the South. By the 1960s, the airplane package tour had become the rage, leading to the decline of old beach towns like Brighton and Coney Island.
What Is ISO 13009?
ISO 13009:2015 establishes general requirements and recommendations for beach operators that offer tourist and visitor services. Beach operators are an organization assigned to manage and inspect aspects related to a beach, including its public management. This standard provides guidance for beach operators and users regarding the delivery of sustainable management and planning, beach ownership, sustainable infrastructure and service provision needs (beach safety, information and communication, cleaning and waste removal).
ISO 13009:2015 aims to help beach operators make better-informed decisions about managing the beaches for which they are responsible to improve the beach experience for users and help better the economic and social fabric of beaches (resorts, local coastal communities, etc.). Beach operation should consider infrastructure (sunbeds and bathrooms); sanitation services (toilets, showers, drinking water); accessibility (parking spaces); service provisions (tourist information and tariffs/levies); safety services (lifeguards); cleaning and waste removal; and commercial services (restaurants).
Beaches have various uses, including:
- Recreation and leisure
- Coast protection
- Sporting activities
- Educational events, socio-cultural, religious or sporting
- Nature conservation
- Fishing and collecting shellfish
- Military activities
Beach activities are becoming more varied—ranging from para-karting to power boating, swimming to sailing, and horse riding to beach barbequing. ISO 13009:2015 notes that many activities require some form of management, which may differ between user groups. In other words, the requirements of local residents differ from those of tourists, and balancing their respective needs is a major contributory factor in successful beach use and management.
How Do Beaches Form?
Natural beaches can take hundreds of years to form due to continuously flowing water eroding the land surrounding them. Moving waves ultimately wear down sand, shells, stones, rocks, coral reefs, and other loose sediments located in the gulf. Streams and rainwaters may also degrade rocks on land and carry them to the water’s edge. Water and wind wear away at the land, and it is this continual action of waves or current beating against the land (e.g., a rocky cliff) that may cause some rocks to come lose and huge boulders can be worn to tiny grains of sand.
ISO 13009:2015: Tourism And Related Services – Requirements And Recommendations For Beach Operation is available on the ANSI Webstore.