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Coastal tourism is considered to be one of the fastest growing areas of present-day tourism with its central attributes of sand, sea and sun. In order to create safe, stable and attractive coastal environments with clean waters and healthy coastal habitats, it is necessary to develop well-managed sustainable coastal tourism. Integrated Coastal Zone Management is the best available approach for achieving this aim.

Sustainable Coastal Tourism implies the following:

  • Sustainable coastal management practices
  • Clean water, air and healthy coastal eco-systems
  • A safe and secure recreational environment through the management of coastal hazards, such as erosion, storms and floods. The provision of adequate levels of safety for boaters, swimmers and other water users
  • Beach restoration efforts that maintain the recreational and attractive values of beaches
  • Sound policies for wildlife and habitat protection

The coastal ecosystem of Varna was part of an EU integrated project SPICOSA ( , aimed to create a self-evolving, operational research approach framework for the assessment of policy options for the sustainable management of coastal zone systems.
The main project task was to test and improve the methodology (ecological system approach) in different areas of the European coast in real time. For this purpose were selected 18 scientific experimental sea zones across Europe, which differ in geomorphology and environmental conditions and they are subject of various human activities.

The project contributed to the understanding of social interactions within coastal zone systems and how these impact the environment and future policies. It supported the implementation of existing EU Directives and ICZM good practices.

The main focus in the application of the ecological approach was placed on the growing tourism industry as one of contemporary threats to the ecological balance of the coastal zone of the north western part of the Black Sea and the challenge of formulating and implementing appropriate science-based strategy for sustainable management.