WIT Press

Protected Areas: A Valid Argument For The Renovation And Diversification Of Mature Coastal Tourist Destinations In Spain?


Free (open access)





Page Range

283 - 294




2,951 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


I. Rodríguez, M. P. Such & M. Capdepón


During the last two decades, tourism policies in Spain have had as a priority objective the diversification and differentiation of tourist destinations, together with the improvement of service and infrastructure quality levels as the best strategies to guarantee the competitiveness of tourism activity. Although Spain has managed to maintain its leadership as a sun and sand tourist destination, the strategies undertaken up to the present day have failed to achieve a real change in the tourism dynamics that must respond to the new demand trends and the challenge of sustainability. In this respect, before the apparent need for renovation, mature tourist destinations should insist on the enhancement of their offer through the valorisation of territorial components and particularly those associated with the protected areas that still survive after the urban process that most tourist destinations have characteristically gone through. In fact, both town-development and the mechanisms for the creation of new accommodation infrastructures and residential homes have seriously threatened the environment of protected areas and have had an influential role on the environmental impact of coastal areas. This paper seeks to present the diagnosis and conclusions obtained about the role that protected areas may play in the diversification of the tourist offer through the optimal enhancement of their public use. Based on empirical findings from Serra Gelada Natural Park, located in the Benidorm tourist destination, key issues related to the tourism strategies recently developed for protected areas are explored focusing on the potential to create new nature-based tourism products. Keywords: protected areas, public use, renovation, diversification, mature coastal destinations, nature-based tourism products.


protected areas, public use, renovation, diversification, mature coastal destinations, nature-based tourism products