Łonyszyn, P., Terefenko, O., 2014. Creation of an alternative season based on sustainable tourism as an opportunity for Baltic Sea Region. 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. 454–460, ISSN 0749-0208.
For several years, the Baltic Sea was divided by the Iron Curtain. However, though this situation changed over 20 years ago and this body of water has since become an internal sea of the European Union, there are still visible differences in the welfare and mentality of the people from the Baltic Sea Region. It's the world's largest body of brackish water, its beaches are exceptionally picturesque, and due to the concentration of iodine it is an exuberant source of medical richness. However, people view the coastal regions of the Baltic Sea countries almost exclusively as a destination for summer vacations. This results in the existence of an expansive, harmful tourist industry for a short time and distinct stagnancy throughout the rest of the year. The majority of local resorts from autumn to spring become examples of “ghost towns” where the inhabitants don't have regular incomes. The problem is, according to scholars, that extending the summer season is impossible in the Coastal Baltic Sea Region due to the local climate and economic conditions of the areas around the sea. The solution could be the creation of an alternative season based on sustainable tourism, as the extension of a summer season could only reduce the problem of the area's degradation due to mass tourism instead of solving it. This paper presents how an alternative season could be a real chance for a gradual end of the problem. Moreover, it shows real examples of transnational cooperation that could become the base for sustainable tourism in the Coastal Baltic Sea Region.