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Amounts and distribution of recreational beach expenditures in southern California

Dwight, Ryan H., Catlin, Sandra N., Fernandez, Linda M.
Ocean & coastal management 2012 v.59 pp. 13-19
adults, beaches, energy costs, equipment, lodging, managers, summer, travel, California
Visitors (n = 2455) were surveyed at fourteen southern California beaches in the summer of 2009 to measure travel expenditures associated with a recreational beach trip. The majority of beach trips were made by California residents (88%), and most traveled by motorized vehicle (90%). Mean distance traveled per beach trip was 35.0 miles; mean time at the beach was 4.0 h; and mean age of adult visitors was 34.8 years. Amounts spent on different cost categories varied; Mean direct beach expenditures spent on parking, food, shopping, lodging and rentals were $46.09 per trip; mean fuel costs were $8.84 per trip; and mean equipment costs (beach gear) were $10.60 per trip. The combined Total Beach Expenditures (TBE) were $65.53 per trip. Beaches with amenities captured greater expenditures ($73.37 per trip) compared to beaches with less facilities ($11.78 per trip). Southern California beaches generate over $3.5 billion annually in beach related expenditures, and $2.5 billion of that is spent directly at beaches. Attendance patterns determine expenditure amounts resulting in more than half of direct beach expenditures occurring at only 20% of the regions most popular beach locations. The beach specific data and results on spending patterns can be helpful for a range of agencies and beach managers when researching the most economically effective maintenance or enhancement options for different sites. The values generated also provide baseline economic activity by beach which may be useful for compensation calculations in the event of a future loss or closure of a particular beach.