An outdoor space located on the waterside, constructed as “natural” and free of constraints, where recreational practices such as walking, resting, swimming and socialising flourish..
The beach as a natural space
A sometimes narrow boundary between natural and artificial space
The “physical” approach to beaches has long been favoured in geography. In his Dictionnaire de la géographie (1970), edited by Fernand Verger until 2013, Pierre George offers only a geomorphological definition: a “foreshore formed of materials coarser than the main constituents of silt, such as sand or pebbles.” Roger Brunet took up this approach in Les mots de la géographie, dictionnaire critique (1992), but also introduced the notion of the beach as a “seaside holiday resort”. The beach that interests us here is not the geomorphological unit, but rather the space for recreational practices.
While the sedimentary nature of beaches is not fundamental in tourism analysis, the idea of beaches as masses of sand is nonetheless important for the managers of these functional spaces. Indeed, the evolution of coastlines and sedimentary dynamics can call into question the durability and stability of the beach as a “facility”.
In a similar way, considering the beach as an ecosystem doesn’t make sense in the context of this text. As such, the beach ecosystem is of little interest even for biodiversity advocates, who consider it poorly (Dugan et al., 2010), except when ecological stakes become a means to control of the space. This may include the raking of the wrack zone or the to protection of nesting sites.
While this “natural” dimension is not central to the definition of the beach as a functional space, it is nonetheless identified by users as a key dimension of it’s appeal.
In the context of urban expansion, the beach balances the need for nature among city dwellers (Urbain, 2002). The beach is therefore increasingly perceived as an amenity serving human well-being
Hence, the social concerns and expectations surrounding the beach’s “environmental quality” must now be recognized and addressed by managing authorities who advertise their maintenance operations.
Information panels, awareness-raising operations, dune conservation and protection areas all acknowledge the good management and proper respect for the environment. Similarly, standard beach maintenance operations now include silting up and redeveloping the beach to create the most natural-looking profile , ensuring that sand is well distributed along the entire shoreline in time for the summer, blurring the line between natural artificial spaces (Ill. 1). Since the beginning of the 21st century, this type of coastal remodelling operations have gained legitimacy as a more visually pleasing alternative to riprapping.
A historically built landscape
The beach as an outdoor site for socialising and leisure appeared in the Netherlands as early as the 17th century. At that time, people were starting to enjoy activities such as walking and socialising (Knafou, 2000). The therapeutic bathing practices that developed during the 18th century and the development of more recreational practices from the end of the 19th century confirmed the importance of the seashores in this invention.
However, around Alpine lakes, beaches were claimed and sometimes equipped as early as the beginning of the 19th century (Verneix, 1987). People also started using beaches along the banks of the Seine and the Marne around Paris, a process that went hand in hand with the development of riverside guinguettes (open-air restaurants/cafés) from the second half of the 19th century (Duhau, 2011).
To adapt to coastal developments and increasing demand for leisure space, artificial beaches were created alongside coastal towns (e.g., Plages du Prado, Marseille). Above-ground beaches also sprang up in air domes or tropical domes like those in Center Parcs resorts or the Tropical Islands water park in south Berlin. While the idea of these facilities is to allow quick year-round access to the pleasure of bathing in warm waters, the idea of bringing the beach closer to urban centres is further epitomized by temporary “urban beaches”, with the prime example of Paris-Plage, created every summer on the banks of the Seine since 2001 (Lallement, 2008; En-nejjari, 2020; Pradel, 2012).
It is clear from these latter examples that the natural dimension of the facility is not fundamental to the definition of a beach. Beach users are often unaware of the artificiality of the site they frequent, however remarkable it is in most seaside resorts.
While the natural dimension of the beach contributes to the appeal of these spaces, the diversity of beach practices turn them into complex spaces where alternative representations can flourish. The beach embodies a desire for wilderness where the crude nature of the elements of a little-valued space meets the romantic attraction of infinite, empty and desolate stretches (Leduc, 2006) (Ill. 2). The beach can thus become a place for “enwilding” (Coéffé, 2010) and “robinsonade” (Urbain, 1994), even acquiring a heavenly dimension. In such representations, the beach cannot be associated to a space of work (such as collecting seaweed or repairing fishing nets). The vitality of this representation found a resonance in the discourses that emerged in the 1970’s on the overbuilding of the coastline, calling to reject the artificialization of popular tourist areas..
The beach is also a landscape that includes not only the shore but also aquatic or marine elements, that we contemplate from this shore. Corbin (1988) emphasizes this recognition of the magical aquatic mirror as the starting point of the desire for the coastline. The debates over offshore wind turbines defacing the landscape are a reminder that the beach is an oriented space: it is where we come to see the sea and feel the fresh air on our faces. When beachgoers lie on the sand, their position is systematically perpendicular to the shore, looking towards the sea. Even in countries where lying on the sand is less important and where strolling is preferred, the activity still focuses our gaze on the water.
Today, the beach is a diversified spectacle: from the rocky British or Breton coasts, the vast sandy beaches of Atlantic Aquitaine or New Jersey to Mediterranean coves and tropical islands, with their turquoise waters and the white-sand beaches fringed with coconut trees (Blondy, 2010; Vacher, 2012). In these postcards, colour is a key dimension: volcanic black sand beaches like Tenerife in the Canary Islands or Basse-Terre in Martinique are structurally less well attended.
The beach, a practiced space
Baigneuse, nageur, plageur, plagiste (bather, swimmer, beachgoer and beach operator)
While the term “baigneur” appeared in the French language as early as the 14th century, referring to a person running a public bath house, it was used from the 17th century to designate bathers, and from the 19th century in particular, spa users (Rey, 1992). Several “guides des baigneurs aux eaux minérales” (“guides for mineral water bathers”) were published at the beginning of the 19th century, when the term also became popular on the coast with the development of seaside therapies. “Guides-baigneurs” (“bathing guides”) catered for the needs of seaside therapy-seekers. At the end of the 19th century, they also provided swimming lessons, gradually became maîtres-nageurs (swimming instructors) when pleasure bathing became popular, and even maîtres-nageurs sauveteurs (lifeguards).
At the beginning of the 20th century, in response to the rise in drownings caused by the significant increase of bathers along the United States the coastline , another beach feature was added: volunteers working in groups to ensure public safety for swimmers. While the first beach patrols were launched in 1892 in Atlantic City, New Jersey on the American East Coast, it was Australia that organised the activity around life saver surf clubs, the first of which appeared in Sydney in 1907 (Booth, 2001; Metusela, 2012). However, throughout the 20th century, California best embodies the figure of the beach lifeguard that appeared on the beaches of Los Angeles in 1908 (Venice Beach, Redondo Beach): they were celebrated by rock bands such as the Beach Boys (formed in 1961) and Hollywood movies like Gidget (1959), before the association between lifeguards and beach culture was definitively consecrated by the television show Baywatch (1989-2001) (Devienne, 2020).
The French term “plagiste” appeared in the 1960s (Rey, 1992) to refer to the operator of a beach concession. The meaning of the word is tied to professional usage, and it was not until the end of the 20th century that the term “plageur” was invented by Jean-Didier Urbain (1994) and popularised by Vincent Coéffé (2010), to refer to someone who uses the beach for recreation practices. Its English equivalent, “beachgoer”, has been in use since the 1970s.
The beach, a space for varied and evolving practices
We have described how the invention of the beach as we know it was based on walking and socialising practices where people could celebrate the vastness of the domesticated sea, otherwise controlled politically and commercially by Dutch shipping companies (Corbin, 1988). From then on, the sea was no longer scary, and people could go and behold the spectacle. Initially, the admiration for the beauty of the sea is a niche representation, but is later popularized when seawater was explicitly associated with sanitary benefits. Bathing machines appeared along the beaches of the English Channel and the North Sea (Ill. 3) as well as bathing establishments in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, where vigorous sea dipping would soon be prescribed. The pebble beaches were considered as ideal for the therapeutic practices of the time. They were also adapted to the social activities painted by Eugène Boudin on the Normandy beaches in the 1860s, when people would sit, fully clothed, on chairs to discuss and enjoy the landscape.
The practice of beachgoing evolved at the end of the 19th century, when the sanitary function of bathing became less dominant. In France, from the 1970s, therapeutic bathing gave way to pleasure bathing. Warmer than those of the English Channel and the North Sea, France’s Atlantic beaches (Les Sables d’Olonne, Arcachon, Biarritz) and San Sebastian in Spain were developing according to these new practices. Swimming and beach games become permanent fixtures within the seaside landscape.
But it is not until the early 20th century that sun tanning emerged, soon becoming an emblematic practice of today’s Western beaches. Initially minimal but nevertheless noteworthy, the practice was establish after the Second World War and the advent of mass tourism. The practice required sun bed areas, and therefore favoured the large sandy beaches of Aquitaine, Languedoc and Costa Brava, as well as the sunnier climates in the South.
With the popularisation of air transport, the appeal of the sun and sand combination encouraged people to seek beaches on tropical islands, where climates were perceived as more suitable for bathing and tanning all year round.
Today, beach use covers a wide variety of activities. While swimming, relaxing and tanning are the dominant practices, a multitude of sports and playful activities can be observed (Ill. 4). A whole spectrum of ways to relax become mainstream, such as reading, socializing and walking (a dominant practice in Europe outside of the summer period) . While this diverse range of activities practised on Western beaches developed during the 20th century, beach use can take different forms in other cultural contexts.
Then Global beach
The beach became the ultimate object of development throughout the world of tourism: not only were many coasts developed for tourists, but seaside resorts emerged. This formidable appetite for the shore has translated into a wide variety of forms : some beaches are “wild”, while others are organised by private concessions, like in Italy; some are public and others private; some require clothing, others are reserved for nudist; some are mixed, others not (like the beach in Trieste where a wall separates men and women, or the religious beach in Tel Aviv offering separate days for women and men); and others have become mythical (like Copacabana in Brazil or Maya Bay in Thailand). This expansion justifies the term “global beach” proposed by Orvar Löfgren (1999), based on three core elements: sand, sun and sea.
However, the globalisation of the beach has not led to the standardisation and Westernisation of practices, but rather to tourist traffic and hybridisation (Jaurand 2021; Sacareau, Taunay and Peyvel 2015). In Asia, where light skin is still socially valued as a means of distinction from the peasant classes, seashore attendance is rarely linked to the practice of tanning (Peyvel, 2008; Taunay, 2010; Taunay and Vacher, 2018): people prefer the beach as a place to cool down in the water. This results in specific facilities that protect users from the heat, as well as specific scheduling: people come early in the morning and in the late afternoon, the beach being mostly deserted during the hottest hours of the day (Ill. 5). Consequently, bodies are more covered, particularly those of women. Elsewhere, as in Mexico or Brazil, it is music and dance that have an important impact on beach use, reaffirming the beach as a space for social interaction.
An occupied space
Assessing coastal tourism on a global scale is not easy (Duhamel and Violier, 2009), as there are no global statistics that distinguishes coastal tourism from the rest of tourism. However, indirect indicators such as the distribution of tourist accommodation, presence in travel agency catalogues, etc., can be used at national or regional scales. For example, in France, tourism statistics (DGE, 2019) indicate that 23% of the 171 million trips made for personal reasons by the French were directed to the coast (compared with 30% to urban areas, 19% to mountain areas and 22% to rural areas). The proportion is the largest (32%) when taking into account the 836 million overnight stays. In 2021 in France, INSEE indicated that 40% of the 3.2 million secondary homes were located in coastal inter-municipalities. In Spain, the top five autonomous communities in terms of incoming foreign visitors all have a strong coastal component (Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Andalusia and the Valencian Community). They welcomed 81% of foreign visitors in 2019 (Dataestur, 2022).
However, frequenting the coast does not necessarily mean frequenting the beach. Studies on this aspect are also rare. INSEE’s tourism demand monitoring study indicated that between one third and half of the French coastline visitors actually used the beach. In 2018, the GIP Littoral (coastal public interest grouping) called for a precise count of beachgoers on the Aquitaine coast using drones and smartphone detection. A peak of six million beachgoers was recorded on certain days along the 230 kilometres of coastline between Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Soulac in the Gironde estuary. However, the counts carried out by some municipalities show great variation in beach use depending on the season and the weather.
Although the counts are not always accurate when they are carried out, the coastal area, beach and seaside resorts, have often served as symbols of the massification of tourism (Ill. 6). The notions of saturation, overcrowding or exceeding carrying capacity are regularly referred to in this regard. With the COVID crisis, high levels of attendance on beaches also became irresponsible. Indeed, the shear density of people on a strip of sand can offer spectacular illustrations of touristic concentration. Yet, since 1970, beach holidays remain the preferred choice in France (IPSOS, 2020).
It is worth noting that, despite the widespread fantasy of the deserted beach, the largest resorts, such as Benidorm in Spain, have not lost any attendance since their creation. But numbers are not the only issue, since beaches have become spaces of copresence, where populations, expectations and practices collide, as shown by Caroline Blondy (2013) for Polynesian beaches and Emmanuelle Peyvel for Vietnamese beaches (2008).
The beach, out of the norms?
Beaches are not isolates. On the contrary, they are public spaces, which must be put into context if we are to understand the norms that govern them. In this regard, conflicts can arise in two ways. First, beaches are governed by dynamics of appropriation and power relations, and while this is true of all public spaces, the beach may exacerbate their violence. Restriction for for women, disabled people, the working classes, or discriminated people, for example, is even more striking, because it is their bodies that are attacked first and foremost. Second, as spaces for relaxation in which bodies are uncovered, beaches can also be spaces for transgressing norms relating to nudity, gender, and sexual orientation. These transgressions can also be thought of as militant acts. Negotiating your place on the beach is therefore not equally simple for everyone. In order to better understand the discrimination and inequality of access governing this space, the intersectional approach (Crenshaw, 1989) is useful for simultaneously considering discrimination related to class (Ill. 7), gender and race, but also sexual orientation, disability and age.
The beach, a space of freedom?
The spatial dimensions of nudity are a potential source of conflict as they crystallise moral and social issues: where are we allowed to be naked, in front of who and for what purpose, given that with nudity is often negatively associated with sexuality in Judeo-Christian culture (Barthe, 2003)? In this way, nudism and naturism are transgressive practices that must negotiate their space with non-nudist beach activities.
Historically, the beach has also been a place for feminist struggle. In this perspective, it is a gendered space, imposing differentiated practices and access, deeply interlinked with power relations. Even at the time of cold-water bathing, women were not to be exposed to the public gaze: mobile cabins took them as close to the water as possible. They would change concealed from sight, and bathe fully clothed (Ill. 3).
From the beginning, wearing a one-piece swimsuit was problematic. Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer and feminist actress, was one of the first to promote it. In 1907, at the height of her popularity, she was arrested on account of for indecency on Revere Beach, Massachusetts. However, she used her fame to popularize the garment and created a clothing line that eventually became a benchmark. “Annette Kellerman’s” are now considered the first modern swimwear for women. of the process of uncovering women’s bodies started at the beginning of the 20th century, and accelerated during the interwar period with the popularisation of tanning and sun seeking, was far from a linear process: is was not gradual emancipation, as if history had a sense of direction. Rather, it was a series of practical, localised adjustments that varied from beach to beach. Christophe Granger describes these adjustments as “battles of the beaches” (2008): certain municipalities witnessed clashes, petitions and the promulgation of municipal bylaws, particularly in Brittany, proof that it was perceived as an intrusion (Vincent, 2007).
The two-piece bathing suit also met with strong opposition. On the 5th of July 1946, when Louis Réard presented the bikini at the Molitor pool in Paris for the first time, he had to hire Micheline Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris, as no model wanted to wear it. The bikini was initially banned by the Vatican and by Spain, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and Australia. It would take a second launch in the 1950s for the bikini to be adopted by movie stars (Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and Ursula Andress).
Today, “kini” has been repurposed as a suffix for various kinds of swimwear (monokini for example), including ones that cover the whole body, as evidenced by the term burkini, coined in 2006 by Australian stylist Aheda Zanetti. They anti-Burkini orders that these inspired during the summer (31 French municipalities in 2017, mainly in the South of France), were deemed unconstitutional as they contravened fundamental freedoms, namely freedom of movement, freedom of conscience and personal freedom. Covered or not, the point is that women’s bodies remain the subject of political and religious debate over their presence in the public space that is the beach: a situation with no equivalent for male bodies, clearly pointing to inferiorisation.
The beach, a singular space
As public spaces, beaches implicitly function as heteronormal spaces. However, some may have transgressive or militant zones, depending on the groups that frequent them. Beaches can therefore become safe havens for certain minorities, and can included within the geography of gay tourism. The beaches of Capri and Naples in Italy, Tangier in Morocco and Rio in Brazil were among the first places to be freed from heterosexual pressure and become tolerant of male homosexuality. As such, these beaches contributed to the development of a gay identity and culture (Jaurand and Leroy, 2010).
Lesbian areas at the beach are different, as shown by the work of Rachele Borghi (2016) based on surveys of beaches in Finistère, reflecting the double discrimination lesbians face in terms of gender and sexuality. Rather than established lesbian beaches built to last, we see temporary occupations organised on Dyke Beach Day, reclaiming the insult as a badge of honour.
It is therefore important to put into perspective the heavenly imaginary that beaches can embody. Some minorities still face access issues. This is especially true of racialised beaches. Using the example of Muizenberg Beach (Cape Town), Hélène Frogneux (2010) demonstrated that even in South Africa where apartheid has been dismantled, a process which took place between 1989 and 1991, resistance prevails in the form of micro-segregations. Jennifer Bidet (2017) showed the racialisation of class relations on the Algerian private beach of Capritour, which simultaneously welcomes descendants of French immigrants and Algerian upper classes, two groups that ultimately cohabit rather poorly.
Finally, the validistic nature of beaches remains blatant: most beaches are still difficult to access for people with physical and mental disabilities, despite those the use of facilities like the Tiralo and textile beach paths (Amiaud, 2013), features recognised with the “handiplage” label in France.
Setting quality standards for beaches?
While the beach can questionably be presented as a space of freedom and equality, both managers and users also want it to be a space of quality. This notion of quality can refer to standardised criteria, for example, on the presence of a certain bacteria in bathing water. But the notion of quality can also refer to a more subjective values relating to the perceptions and representations of stakeholders. For example, an crowded beach can be both an asset for social practices, and a nuisance for others.
The question of defining quality norms, enabling comparisons between beaches even within a global system of reference, gained traction with the development of coastal management policies in the 1990s (Williams and Micallef, 1980; Botero et al., 2009 2018). Ecological, geomorphological and landscape criteria were supplemented in the late 1990s by user assessments (Leatherman, 1997; Morgan, 1999). It is on these bases that multiple labelling systems were set up. The Blue Flag label, created in 1985, is the most widespread in Europe.
Labelling and defining beach carrying capacities (Zacarias et al., 2011; Ribeiro et al., 2011) is a simple and, in appearance, a methodological sound means of approaching the question of “the right number of users”. Consequently, there has been a recurring temptation among managers of coastal spaces to define them. However, the notion of quality is also defined by the ability to meet the heterogenous expectations of a wide range of beach users (Guyonnard, 2017).
The beach, an organised space
The beach, a self-organised space
The beach is an atypical public space, in the sense that there is no fixed reference defining where to circulate and where to settle down. Users pick their spot, every day reinventing the organization of the space. In the evening, the very traces of this occupation are blown away by the wind. And despite the common fear of newcomers invading beach space, the study of proxemics (Vacher 2014; Guyonnard, 2017) show that, on the contrary, people avoid this type of situation when searching for a spot. In that sense, the beach space seems to be self-organize (Guyonnard and Vacher, 2018), inviting us to consider the regulatory principles that help users mutually define and respect each other’s beach space.
This organisation, that can be measured in a body-based metric, also takes into account the body’s position relatively to the shore and the principle of filling space in several phases. It also varies according to type of space, with urban beaches or resorts being narrower than less developed coastlines, and Mediterranean beaches accommodating higher densities than those observed on the Atlantic coasts. We can also observe several gradients within the beach space, from the top of the beach or from the access points, depending on expectations: children at the waterside and teenagers groups at the foot of the dunes, seekers of peace far from the access points and supervised swimming areas that attract people looking for a lively and safe space, etc. During the COVID epidemic, this practice of social distancing, suddenly a matter of safety, was referred to in public debate as a choice, but it was applied spontaneously in post-COVID activities.
A managed and regulated space
While the beach is a space that can be very freely organised, it is nevertheless accommodates high density activities that require safety and security (of goods and people, swimming, health, etc.), cleanliness and services in line with user expectations. The space must therefore be managed, cleaned (sometimes raked before the arrival of tourists), and equipped with showers or Wi-Fi. Depending on prevailing practices, it can also become a “tobacco-free beach”, or deny access to dogs, horses (Ill. 8) or kite surfers. Such rules of good conduct may be included in a beach guide. In some areas, the beach management can also be integrated in a broader coastal zone, using a Beach Plan designed to plan transport connections and access to amenities on a scale that includes all the beaches within the given area.
Beaches are generally managed by local authorities since, in most countries, they have the status of public spaces. However, even in France, where this condition is enforced by law, partial privatisations are possible and can generate conflicts. The beach concession system (Ill. 7 and 9) with children’s clubs, restaurants, cabins or annexes of large hotels, can nibble the beach space to the point of privatising its access, as is the case on Italian coasts (Gautheret, 2022). Despite a law specifying seasonal limitations, such installations may be supported by corruption, and in some case may generate outbursts of violence aimed at destroying equipment.
Beach concessions at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). The colour of the umbrellas differentiates the fifty beach concessions offering chairs, showers, and refreshments. The trails of wet sand are made by pierced water pipes which create a “cool” path to the concession and the water (Luc Vacher collection, 2019).
Luc VACHER and Emmanuelle PEYVEL
- Amiaud David, 2013, «L’expérience touristique des personnes autrement capables. Inclusion socio-spatiale et bien-être?», Téoros. vol.32, n°2, p. 86-95, en ligne.
- Barthe-Deloizy Francine, 2003, Géographie de la nudité. Être nu quelque part. Paris, Bréal, 239 p.
- Bidet Jennifer, 2017, «”Blédards ” et ” immigrés ” sur les plages algériennes, luttes de classement dans un espace social transnational», Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales. n°218, p. 64-81, en ligne.
- Botero Camilo M., Cervantes Omar et Finkl Charles W., 2018, Beach Management Tools – Concepts, methodologies and case studies. Cham, Springer, 960 p.
- Blondy Caroline, 2010, Les territoires touristiques polynésiens. Une lecture géographique de la participation de la société locale au système touristique. Thèse de géographie, Université de Bordeaux, 540 p.
- Blondy Caroline, 2013, «Pratiques de la plage en Polynésie française», Mappemonde. n°111 (3-2013), en ligne [pdf].
- Booth Douglas, 2001, Australian beach cultures, the history of sun, sand and surf. Londres, Frank Cass Publishers, 260 p.
- Borghi Rachele, 2016, «”Et le bronzage de tes fesses dessine un cœur” – Réflexions sur les expériences lesbiennes des plages», Espace politique. vol.28, n°1, en ligne.
- Brunet Roger, Ferras Robert et Théry Hervé, 1992, Les mots de la géographie, dictionnaire critique. Montpellier-Paris, Reclus-La documentation française, 520 p.
- Coëffé Vincent, 2010, «La plage, fabrique d’une touristi(cité) idéale», L’information géographique. vol. 74, n°3, p. 51–68, en ligne.
- Corbin Alain, 1988, Le territoire du vide. L’Occident et le désir du rivage 1750-1840. Paris, Flammarion, 416 p.
- Crenshaw Kimberle, 1989, «Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics», University of Chicago Legal Forum. vol. 1989, article 8, en ligne.
- Devienne Elsa, 2020, La ruée vers le sable, une histoire environnementale des plages de Los Angeles au XXe siècle. Paris, Editions de la Sorbonne, 288p.
- Dugan Jenifer, Defeo Omar, Jaramillo Eduardo, Jones Alan, Lastra Mariano, Nel Ronel, Peterson Charles, Scapini Felicita, Schlacher Thomas, Schoeman David, 2010, «Give beach ecosystems their day in the sun», Science. vol. 329, p. 1146, en ligne.
- Duhamel Philippe et Violier Philippe, 2009, Tourisme et littoral: un enjeu du monde. Paris, Belin, 191 p.
- En-nejjari Maroua, Requena Ignacio et Siret Daniel, 2020, «La plage urbaine spontanée, une nouvelle forme d’appropriation oisive de l’espace public», Les Cahiers de la recherche architecturale urbaine et paysagère. en ligne.
- Dataestur, 2020, Movimientos turistocos en fronteras. Dataestur, Secretaria des estado de turismo, Govierno de España, en ligne.
- DGE, 2019, Chiffres Clés du tourisme, édition 2018. Direction générale des entreprises, ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, République française, 7 p.
- Duhau Isabelle, 2011, «Les baignades en rivière en France», Actes des 22es Journées Scientifiques de l’Environnement – Reconquête des environnement urbains: les défis du 21e siècle. Créteil, en ligne [pdf].
- Frogneux Hélène, 2010, «La nouvelle Afrique du Sud à la plage! Usages et fréquentation de trois plages de la péninsule du Cap», Echogéo. n°13, en ligne.
- Gautheret Jérôme, 2022, «Comment Mario Draghi veut récupérer la manne des plages privées italiennes», Le Monde. 28 février, en ligne.
- George Pierre et Verger Fernand, 2013, Dictionnaire de la géographie. Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 496 p.
- Granger Christophe, 2008, «Batailles de plage. Nudité et pudeur dans l’entre-deux-guerres», Rives méditerranéennes. n°30, p. 117-133, en ligne.
- Guibert Christophe et Taunay Benjamin, 2021, Les Chinois à la plage. Paris, L’Harmattan, 172 p.
- Guyonnard Valentin, 2017, Dimensions cachées et attentes spatiales dans un espace de pratique de tourisme et de loisir. Une analyse géographique de la plage en Charente-Maritime (France). Thèse de géographie, UMR 7266 LIENSs CNRS – Université de La Rochelle, 393 p., en ligne [pdf].
- Guyonnard Valentin et Vacher Luc, 2018, «Penser et mesurer les distances de l’interaction sociale dans l’espace de la plage», Espace Géographique. vol. 47, n°2, p. 159–181, en ligne.
- IPSOS, 2020, Future of travel-France, Baromètre IPSOS/Europ Assistance. Rapport de résultats du 24 juillet, en ligne.
- Jaurand Emmanuel, 2021, «De Phuket à Lombok: des plages d’Asie du Sud-Est dans la mondialisation touristique», Bulletin de l’Association des Géographes Français. vol.98, n°1, p. 101-117, en ligne.
- Jaurand Emmanuel, 2017, «Aménagement et mise en tourisme d’une marge: l’intégration du nudisme sur le littoral languedocien», dans Bernard Nicolas, Duhamel Philippe et Blondy Caroline (dir.), Tourisme et périphérie, La centralité des lieux en question. Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, p. 31-48.
- Jaurand Emmanuel et Leroy Stéphane, 2010, «Le tourisme gay: Aller ailleurs pour être soi-même?», EspacesTemps.net, en ligne.
- Knafou Rémy, 2000, «Scènes de plage dans la peinture hollandaise du XVIIe siècle: l’entrée de la plage dans l’espace des citadins», Mappemonde. vol. 58, n°2, p.1-5, en ligne.
- Lallement Emmanuelle, 2008, «Paris-plage: une fausse plage pour une vraie ville? Essai sur le détournement balnéaire urbain», Géographie et Cultures. n°67, p. 65–78, en ligne.
- Leatherman Stephen P., 1997, «Beach Rating: A Methodological approach», Journal of Coastal Research. vol. 13, n°1, p. 253–258, en ligne.
- Leduc Claire, 2006, «De la répulsion au désir de nature, métamorphose de la wilderness littorale en Nouvelle-Angleterre», Annales de Géographie. n° 649, p. 292-311, en ligne.
- Löfgren Orvar, 1999, On holiday, a history of vacationing. Berkeley, University of California Press, 320 p.
- Metusela Christine et Waitt Gordon, 2012, Tourism and Australian Beach Cultures: Revealing Bodies. Bristol, Channel View Publications, 156 p.
- Morgan Robert, 1999, «Preferences and priorities of recreational beach users in Wales, UK», Journal of Coastal Research. vol. 15, n°3, p. 653–667, en ligne.
- Peyvel Emmanuelle, 2008, «Mui Ne (Vietnam) : deux approches différenciées de la plage par les touristes occidentaux et domestiques», Géographie et Cultures. n°67, p. 79–92, en ligne.
- Pradel Benjamin et Simon Gwendal, 2012, «Quand le citadin joue au plagiste. Paris plages, des référents touristiques dans le quotidien urbain», Espaces et sociétés. n° 151, p. 69-84, en ligne.
- Rey Alain (dir.), 1992, Dictionnaire historique de la langue française. Paris, Le Robert, 2383 p.
- Ribeiro, M.F., Ferreira, J.C. et Silva, C.P., 2011, «The Sustainable Carrying Capacity as a Tool for Environmental Beach Management», Journal of Coastal Research (Proceedings of the 11th International Coastal Symposium). Gold Coast, Australia, p. 1411-1414, en ligne.
- Sacareau Isabelle, Taunay Benjamin et Peyvel Emmanuelle, 2015, La mondialisation du tourisme: les nouvelles frontières d’une pratique. Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 274 p.
- Taunay Benjamin, 2010, «L’émergence d’une culture chinoise de la plage», EspacesTemps.net, Travaux, 2 juin, en ligne.
- Taunay Benjamin et Vacher Luc, 2018, «Pratiques et organisation spatiale de la plage de Dadonghai à Sanya (île de Hainan, Chine)», Mappemonde. n°123, en ligne.
- Toulier Bernard, 2017, Tous à la plage! Villes balnéaires du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours. Paris, Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine-Lienart, 304 p.
- Urbain Jean-Dider, 1994, Sur la plage: mœurs et coutumes balnéaires (XIXe-XXe siècles). Paris, Payot, coll. «Petite Bibliothèque Payot», 500 p.
- Urbain Jean-Dider, 2002, Paradis verts. Désirs de campagne et passion résidentielle. Paris, Payot, 392 p.
- Vacher Luc, 2012, «La découverte récréative des eaux tropicales… et on inventa l’eau chaude et le blue lagoon», Cahiers d’Outre-Mer. vol.260, n°65, p. 555-567, en ligne.
- Vacher Luc, 2014, Réflexion géographique sur la distance – une approche par les pratiques de tourisme. Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, Université d’Angers, https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01475076/document [pdf].
- Verge Arthur, 2016, Los Angeles County Lifeguards. San Fransisco, Arcadia Publishing, 128 p.
- Vernex Jean-Claude, 1987, «Évolution des pratiques et aménagement des plans d’eau: les Bains du Lac (exemple du lac d’Annecy)», Revue de géographie alpine. vol. 75, n°2, p. 197-212, en ligne.
- Vernex Jean-Claude, 1989, «Évolution des pratiques de loisirs et espace littoral lacustre; une étude de cas: le lac d’Annecy (France)», Le Globe. Revue genevoise de géographie. vol. 129, p. 37-47, en ligne.
- Vincent Johan, 2007, L’intrusion balnéaire. Les populations littorales bretonnes et vendéennes face au tourisme (1800-1945). Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 278p.
- Williams Allan et Micallef Anton, 2009, Beach Management – Principles and Practice. Londres, Earthscan, 445 p.
- Zacarias Daniel A., Williams Allan T. et Newton Alice, 2011, «Recreation carrying capacity estimations to support beach management at Praia de Faro, Portugal», Applied Geography. vol. 31, n°3, p. 1075-1081, en ligne.