«Tourism and related services. Requirements and recommendations for the beach functioning». The ISO standard is the tool from which drawing to offer quality services.
ISO 13009: Seaside certification. That is: here’s how to define services and infrastructure that turn a beach into a quality beach.
Tourism means economy, but it also means competition and services to offer. To this scenario must be added the European Bolkestein directive (the directive also applied to the matter of the marine state property concessions) and the relative adaptation of the various states legislation, but it remains the case that the subject matter is in development and in the future the concessions could be awarded following procedures that could consider the quality aspect and services too. The allocation criterion could take account elements such as:
- environmental impact;
The standard 13009 maintains the ISO standard and, therefore, even if it’s written according to Anglo-Saxon criteria and adapted to the environments that are faced on the oceans, it’s applied equally to all coastal contexts such as the Mediterranean one.
ISO 13009: the advantages
Before the publication of the ISO 13009 standard, there were very few indications to help operators determine and plan the beach management. As a result, there has been little improvement in the coastline or, in any case, they haven’t been managed sustainably. This has led, on many occasions, to a negative experience for users. On the other hand, ISO 13009 provides a guide that helps to establish international benchmarks for the beach management and safety.
In particular, the standard helps to:
- make informed decisions about the beach management;
- to manage the beach according to the tourism intensity (high or low) that could change depending on the year periods;
- in addition to organisational aspects, ISO 13009 explains how to manage safety education and information: signalling, access, zoning, supervision, rescue, water quality and beach facilities;
- the norm dedicates particular attention to the emergencies: it divides them in categories and previews the specific human resources. It also provides for evacuation procedures in the event of hostile events such as storms, tides, heavy rain, etc.
The principles on which ISO 13009 is based are five: safety, quality, usability, sustainability and transparency towards customers.
When we talk about safety we refer to that of customers and, of course, staff. Quality refers to customer satisfaction. A beach must also be usable, so spaces and facilities must meet certain requirements to be enjoyed. Who manages a beach shouldn’t think only of customers and the spaces usability: it’s essential that the activity is integrated with the environment to have the least possible impact.