Botero, C., Anfuso, A., Williams, A.T and Palacios, A. 2013. Perception of coastal scenery along the Caribbean littoral of Colombia.
Scenic evaluation is an important tool for coastal classification and management, as results obtained from numerous enquires carried out in Europe and USA showed that it is one of the top five parameters in beach choice, the others being safety, facilities, water quality and litter. The specific ranking of each one of the previous parameters ranges from place to place, scenery achieving greatest importance in the UK and USA (first and second place, respectively) and less importance in Malta, Turkey and Spain. In UK, the most important aspects of coastal scenery are historic features (hill forts, lighthouses, etc.), absence of noise, cliff height and beach type (e.g. sand). In Turkey, beach users give more importance to the absence of sewage and litter, water colour and quality, the absence of buildings and vistas of far places. In order to determine the importance given by beach users in the Caribbean coast of Colombia to coastal scenery and to its different aspects, 435 enquires were carried out at eight beaches in the provinces of La Guajira, Magdalena, Atlántico and Bolívar during 2011 and 2012. Results obtained indicated that there was circa 50% difference between the Colombian checklist, as against the one utilised in Europe and the USA. The main differences related to vegetation cover, cliffs, rock platforms, dunes, tidal range, built-non built environment, sky line and noise. The importance given to water clarity, also observed in previous studies carried out in Mediterranean beaches, is linked to the fact that local and national tourists came to the beach for swimming and/or sun, as virtually every beach user enters the sea. Lastly, the importance given to vegetation cover (especially in urban beaches where the vegetal cover consists of planted palm trees), is not really linked to their landscape value but to their usefulness in providing shade.