When tourists select a destination for a recreational trip, it is largely on the basis of the attributes or characteristics offered by the destination itself. Many of these characteristics can be varied by industry action (hotel quality, access, facility range etc.) or by nature (weather, wildlife movement etc.) However, there is a class of characteristics that are fixed in nature and location. This paper identifies those characteristics in a coastal tourism context, and develops means of valuing them from the perspective of the visiting tourist. Thus it is possible to identify different inherent types of coastal destination and relate their value or attraction tourists through the bundles of characteristics that each type possesses. We show that this can aid planners and marketers of coastal destination areas. The example of ‘hard’ coastal defences is used
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