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Tourism & Marine protection and restoration

Tourism and nature are closely linked. Most of the time tourists travel to a destination due to its landscape or seascape – sand, sun, sea, cultural site. Natural and cultural environments are part of the tourism product and coastal areas are particularly attractive for tourism as they provide the ideal environment to spend the vacations.

Tourism can promote responsible development of coastal areas, enhancing cultural traditions which in turn contribute to conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. However, negative impacts include excessive use of resources, increases in pollution, habitat loss and fragmentation, social behaviour change, as well as economic exclusion for vulnerable groups. Given that coastal areas are ecologically fragile regions and attractive as tourist destinations, unplanned development can be disastrous in terms of biodiversity loss, with severe consequences for the ecosystem health. Ecotourism can act as a driver to raise awareness of the importance of ocean conservation, the sustainable use of resources and marine protection and restoration.

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