The last resort : a chronicle of paradise, profit, and peril at the beach

by Stodola, Sarah,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 7 copies
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CLP - Woods Run Non-Fiction Collection GV191.6.S84 2022
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A captivating exploration of beach resort culture--from its roots in fashionable society to its undervalued role in today's world economy--as the travel industry approaches a climate reckoning

With its promise of escape from the strains of everyday life, the beach has a hold on the popular imagination as the ultimate paradise. In The Last Resort, Sarah Stodola dives into the psyche of the beachgoer and gets to the heart of what drives humans to seek out the sand. At the same time, she grapples with the darker realities of resort culture: strangleholds on local economies, reckless construction, erosion of beaches, weighty carbon footprints, and the inevitable overdevelopment and decline that comes with a soaring demand for popular shorelines.

The Last Resort weaves Stodola's firsthand travel notes with her exacting journalism in an enthralling report on the past, present, and future of coastal travel. She takes us from Monte Carlo, where the pursuit of pleasure first became part of the beach resort experience, to a village in Fiji that was changed irrevocably by the opening of a single resort; from the overdevelopment that stripped Acapulco of its reputation for exclusivity to Miami Beach, where extreme measures are underway to prevent the barrier island from vanishing into the ocean.

In the twenty-first century, beach travel has become central to our globalized world--its culture, economy, and interconnectedness. But with sea levels likely to rise at least 1.5 to 3 feet by the end of this century, beaches will become increasingly difficult to preserve, and many will disappear altogether. What will our last resort be when water begins to fill the lobbies?

I'm never coming home : Thailand and England
Where all passions combine : Monte Carlo, the Jersey Shore, and Cap d'Antibes
Among the very tall : Waikiki
Into far-flung places : Fiji
New frontiers, precarious business : Nicaragua and Senegal
Paradise lost (to overdevelopment) : Tulum, Ibiza, and Cancún
A global juggernaut : Vietnam and Portugal
The long haul to the high end : Sumba (Indonesia)
Beyond the sea : Barbados and St. Kitts
A tale of two islands : Bali and Nias (Indonesia)
Ghosts in the machine : Baiae, Rockaway, and Acapulco
Up to here : Miami Beach
Interlude : return to Railay
A better way : Tioman Island (Malaysia)
Sands of time : the future of the beach resort.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Journalist, travel writer, and founder of the digital magazine Flung, Stodola (Process, 2015) guides readers through the history of beach resorts, places that once frightened local populations, then marketed themselves as curative locales, becoming playgrounds for the wealthy and now de rigueur honeymoon destinations. She visits numerous global properties in various stages of what one geographer called "tourist area cycle evolution"--exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation, decline, and occasionally rejuvenation--and shares her findings. Invariably, natural beauty, once "discovered" by Westerners, is exploited and even endangered, as the quest for paradise and commercial endeavors to create the perfect beach wreak havoc on environmental, social, and economic fronts around the world. Stodola details both the disastrous effects of overdevelopment on multiple beachfront sites as well as hopeful instances of conservation, charting the steps needed to curtail the devastating consequences of unchecked development: difficult, expensive measures that may save a quite different beach resort for future generations. Avid travelers and environmentally conscious readers alike will appreciate this treatment."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Beaches are "a paradise both threatening and threatened," according to this thought-provoking survey from journalist Stodola (Process). Though tourism is "the third-largest export globally" and "provides more than one in every ten jobs worldwide," Stodola travels the globe to highlight how coastal towns that largely depend on tourism are changing due to climate change and have become hotbeds of social inequality. In Nicaragua, she explores how the country's reputation went from one of "violence" to one with a "part hipster vacation scene, part groovier WeWork," and in Tulum, Mexico, she takes in the damage caused by overdevelopment: "Tulum has become a study in paradoxes, where 'eco-resorts' run on bungalow-size diesel generators, their waste seeping through the delicate limestone ground into the vast underground river system." Throughout, Stodola shows the effects of, as well as coastal towns' response to, climate change: Sea walls are built in Barbados to combat erosion, and roads are raised in Miami Beach as the tides reach ever higher. Stodola wraps up with steps the tourism industry can take to make for more "durable and inclusive" beach resorts, including sourcing food and drink locally and limiting the numbers of visitors. The result is a fascinating look at the dangers of climate change. (June)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Stodola, Sarah -- Travel.
Beaches -- Recreational use.
Seaside resorts.
Outdoor recreation -- Economic aspects.
Outdoor recreation -- Social aspects.
Outdoor recreation -- Environmental aspects.
Publisher New York, NY :Ecco,2022
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 341 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 321-341).
ISBN 9780062951625
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