Tourism carrying capacity is a now antiquated approach to managing visitors in protected areas and national parks which evolved out of the fields of range, habitat and wildlife management. In these fields, managers attempted capacity planning case study pdf determine the largest population of a particular species that could be supported by a habitat over a long period of time.
Unfortunately, there are no studies which support this notion of visitor management. For example, in areas which have an objective of maintaining pristine conditions, any level of visitor use creates adverse or negative impacts, suggesting that the carrying capacity is zero. Fundamentally, acceptable conditions are a matter of human judgment, not an inherent quality of a particular site. There are number of different forms of carrying capacity referred to in tourism, however this article will focus on the four most commonly used. However, these conceptions are useful only to the extent they focus discussion and discourse, not practical application.
This is the maximum number of tourists that an area is actually able to support. In the case of an individual tourist attraction it is the maximum number that can fit on the site at any given time and still allow people to be able to move. This is normally assumed to be around 1m per person. This relates to a level of acceptable change within the local economy of a tourist destination, it is the extent to which a tourist destination is able to accommodate tourist functions without the loss of local activities, take for example a souvenir store taking the place of a shop selling essential items to the local community. This relates to the negative socio-cultural related to tourism development. The indicators of when the social carrying capacity has been exceeded are a reduced local tolerance for tourism as described by Doxey’s Index of irritation.
This deals with the extent to which the natural environment is able to tolerate interference from tourists. This is made more complicated by the fact that because it deals with ecology which is able to regenerate to some extent so in this case the carrying capacity is when the damage exceeds the habitat’s ability to regenerate. Environmental carrying capacity is also used with reference to ecological and physical parameters, capacity of resources, ecosystems and infrastructure. The main criticism of carrying capacity is that is fundamentally flawed conceptually and practically. Conceptually, the notion of an inherent carrying capacity assumes a stable and predictable world, a “J-shaped” curve in the relationship between use level and impact, and techno-scientific view of what are essential value judgments. Carrying capacity can give the impression that a site is better protected than it actually is, it points out that although the whole site may be below carrying capacity part of the site may still be crowded. Limits of acceptable change was the first of the post carrying capacity visitor management frameworks developed to respond to the practical and conceptual failures of carrying capacity.
The framework was developed by The U. Select indicators of resource and social conditions. Inventory existing resource and social conditions. Specify standards for resource and social indicators for each opportunity class. Identify management actions for each alternative. The reader should note however, that there is a difference of LAC as a concept and LAC as a planning framework.
This framework is based on the idea that not enough attention has been given to the experience of tourists and their views on environmental quality. This framework is similar in origin to LAC, but was originally designed to meet the legislative, policy and administrative needs of the US National Park Service. Constraints: limiting factors that cannot be easily managed. They are inflexible, in the sense that the application of organisational, planning, and management approaches, or the development of appropriate infrastructure does not alter the thresholds associated with such constraints. Impacts: elements of the system affected by the intensity and type of use. Emphasis should be placed on significant impacts. Describes how an area should be managed and the level of acceptable environmental impacts.