Some coastal economies depend greatly on tourism and travel industries. Beaches are an especially popular destination during the summer months. People go to the beach for different activities, such as sunbathing, swimming, surfing, fishing, playing with the sand and more. Perspectives on beach nourishment vary throughout the different tourism industries. Recent studies also show that there is differing opinion on how tourists see beach erosion and the attempt to restore it. Those who support it point to the revenue from local businesses and the amount of jobs created. Proponents consider the cost of beach nourishment to be an investment, not an expense, as beaches drive the local economy. Some tourists with positive views see the added recreational opportunities.
However those who have negative views felt deceived by the promoted image of nourishment. They also have concern on the limited public beach access during beach nourishment project. Heavy equipment and noise issues from construction often disrupt the residents, and might prevent visitors from returning to a specific beach after their bad experience. They might as well point out the issues with loss of pristine surfing and fishing areas. Consequently, local bait and surfing shops out of business because people unable to do their surfing and fishing activity in nourished beach. Scientist often mentions on how beach nourishment might impact the adjacent ecosystem such as inlets, other beaches and coral reefs, and thus hurt tourism in these areas even if it improves at the beach directly being nourished. Scientist also correlates beach nourishment with the increasing shark attack and murkier water which can be negatively impact tourism. Meanwhile, there are also some views which acknowledge both sides of the controversy. They realize that it is probably not a perfect beach as they imagine, and support the measure of beach nourishment as an attempt to fight erosion. It is common for the tourists to accept that climate changes worsen the erosion of beach area and beach nourishment might be increasingly performed in the future.
"Our only industry is the tourist industry, and without a beach there is no tourist industry" Bob Edwards, Mayor of Nags Head, Outer Banks