Williams, A. T., Barugh, A., 2014. Beach user perceptions at the eastern Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 426–430, ISSN 0749-0208.
Socio-demographic parameters and beach user preferences and priorities were analysed from 160 questionnaire interviews at Playa Linda and Playa Choc-Mool in Cancun - a mega resort; Playa del Carmen (lower level resort) and Tulum, which was located in a protected area, all located along the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. Prioritisation of 50 beach qualities were undertaken and a strong relationship (p<0.05) was found at all four beaches between perceived water quality and the presence of visual litter pollution. Litter free white sand and water quality was the highest preference and scenery was considered more important than safety at Tulum. Fifty per cent of users expressed a preference for visiting an undeveloped beach with just a few facilities (bar/toilet), with only 9.6% expressing a preference for a highly developed resort. A significant difference (p<0.05) occurred between females and males, the former preferring a beach with few facilities, the latter an undeveloped one. Similar differences were found for the presence of harmful sea creatures, the importance of toilets, presence of oil on the beach, cooking smells; sun bed hire had a much higher significant difference (p=0.02). American visitors preferred a large range of restaurants, car parks, tarmac roads; Europeans seemingly the opposite. Beach users who had travelled the furthest seemed to prefer a more natural beach, but facilities and access at commercial resorts were appreciated. Fifty percent wanted a dog ban on all beaches.