Beachgoers' demands vs. Blue Flag Aims in South Africa?
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The Blue Flag is a beach award aimed to preserve features of the beach environment. While it is assumed that the Blue Flag attracts tourism, this depends on factors such as the socio-demographic background of beachgoers, their perception of beach attributes, and their knowledge and perception of the Blue Flag. This research used structural equation modeling (SEM) to investigate relationships between perceived beach attributes (beach selection criteria, deterrent factors of the beach, and beach quality rating) and beachgoers' knowledge and perception of the Blue Flag award on three Blue Flag and three non-Blue Flag beaches in South Africa. A single statistically significant relationship emerged between beach quality rating and evaluation (both positive and negative views, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive) of the Blue Flag award by beachgoers. The data highlight the importance of generating bottom-up information to assist potential, occasional, and running Blue Flag managers in South Africa, particularly in regard to proper education and promotion of the Blue Flag award.