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Technical Committee Training Prof Richard Mackay, AM June 2012 & Management of Tourism Carrying Capacity.

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Presentation on theme: "Technical Committee Training Prof Richard Mackay, AM June 2012 & Management of Tourism Carrying Capacity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technical Committee Training Prof Richard Mackay, AM June 2012 & Management of Tourism Carrying Capacity

2 The maximum number of visitors who can use the site without risk of damage to the site, without unacceptable change to the setting and natural environment, and while ensuring visitor safety and satisfaction How many people can be permitted into an area without risk of degrading the site and the visitors experience of it

3 An understanding of carrying capacity is essential for planning and decision making Evaluating carrying capacity is linked to site policy goals and management objectives This is essential for determining when undesirable change is taking place at a site and knowing how to respond appropriately

4 Carrying Capacity is dynamic It is generally broken down into three categories: Physical Environmental Social

5 Physical Carrying Capacity Space available for visitors How many cars can be accommodated in the parking areas? How many people can fit into a temple enclosure? What is the limit of available resources such as water, electricity and waste disposal?

6 Environmental Carrying Capacity The degree to which the environment can tolerate change and human interference while continuing to function How much change to the landscape is acceptable? How do changes to the environment impact on the site?

7 Social Carrying Capacity The limit at which the number of people causes: impact on visitor satisfaction changes to traditional behaviour Overcrowding is a social carrying capacity issue. There is a relationship between number of visitors and traditional use of the site or specific locations within the site

8 Considerations Not all visitors have the same degree of impact – one destructive visitor may cause more impact than 50 well aware visitors Not all areas within a site have the same limits – some areas may be able to sustain more numbers than others Visitors expectations and desires differ – some visitors may be happy surrounded by crowds, while others seek quiet and solitude

9 Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) Carrying Capacity methodology should be based on the idea of limits of acceptable change The degree of change or impact that will be tolerated for the resource or the visitors Impacts can be limited by understanding desired conditions and using indicators to monitor change LAC sets standards and monitoring indicators based on management and stakeholder concerns

10 LAC Environmental or social conditions such as air quality or crowding have quantifiable standards based on desired conditions When conditions approach the limits of acceptable change there are impacts to the site or visitors Through understanding these changes management can take actions such as reducing access or changing visitor behaviour to prevent further impacts

11 LAC Managers have to define how much and what kind of change is acceptable, and Agree set indicator limits or standards that would trigger a management response The standards should be set based on both management and stakeholder needs

12 LAC Steps 1. Determine Management Goals and Objectives 2. Formulate Indicators based on Goals and Objectives 3. Undertake Monitoring 4. Establish Management Response

13 1. Goals and Objectives Derive management objectives and goals from the concerns of managers and stakeholders Outline tasks to achieve these goals and objectives For example: an objective may be to minimise physical damage to bas reliefs

14 2. Indicators Indicators should be based on the goals and objectives For example an indicator might be measurement of only one bas relief (in a heavily trafficked area) So the indicator provides an understanding of what is happening without having to measure everything In the natural environment a single measure like a bacteria count might indicate water quality

15 Criteria for Indicators Quantitative – the indicator can be measured Easily measurable – the indicator can be measured using simple, available field techniques or equipment Relevant to concerns – the indicator needs to reflect the concern being monitored Significant – the indicator can detect a meaningful change that is worth monitoring

16 Criteria for Indicators (cont) Sensitive – the indicator allows detection of changes Reliable over time – monitoring of the indicator can be carried out in the same way over time Responsive – the indicator can detect a change which results from management actions Cheap – the indicator does not require large ongoing costs, equipment or staff time

17 3. Monitoring Develop a plan of implementation based on identified indicators and baseline information Implement this plan and determine how to monitor management goals and objectives are being met Undertake regular and consistent monitoring For example undertake regular measuring of bas relief damage or bacteria counts in water

18 Baseline data The first stage of a monitoring programme is to collect baseline data An understanding of baseline data is essential for agreeing on indicators and standards Baseline data allows measurement of how much change has occurred Understanding change reveals how the current situation is different from the desired condition

19 4. Response Take action if agreed standards are not being met For example limit visitor access to areas of unstable masonry and undertake stabilisation work to OR Place rope barriers to prevent access to bas relief OR Change sanitary arrangements to prevent bacteria entering the river

20 Tourism Impact Indicators Should be reflective of policy statements, stakeholder concerns and needs and management objectives Should be informed by field experience Should be able to track physical, environmental and social conditions Should only monitor some key changes – it is not necessary to monitor everything

21 Examples of Indicators Abrasion of monuments Status of vegetation Number of human encounters while travelling per day, by number of groups and their sizes Visitor awareness of values and site significance Signs of pollution from humans, litter, food in streams

22 Examples of Indicators (cont) Tourists complaints about conditions Number of disturbances to an archaeological site Erosion Complaints from community members on deteriorating community values

23 Agreement of indicators is one of the most important steps for management

24 Case Study p. 59

25 Congestion Goal: minimise visitor crowding within Preah Khan central axis Indicator: number of people and group sizes within Preah Khan over time, length of time visitors are obstructed by congestion. Monitoring: record the number of people and group sizes at key locations in Preah Khan over time and record length of time that visitors are obstructed.

26 Monitor the tourism activity Develop alternative visitor programmes Develop pricing and ticketing policies Develop staff capacity to manage congestion Establish high visitation periods and areas of congestion Appropriate management of visitor numbers onto site Greater capacity to manage congestion Ensure adequate staff and resources for busy periods Appropriate design and management of visitor movement Appropriate education programmes Greater range of product choice Attractions at alternative places to spread tourism activity

27 Establish high visitation periods and areas of congestion Appropriate management of visitor numbers onto site Greater capacity to manage congestion Ensure adequate staff and resources for busy periods Appropriate design and management of visitor movement Appropriate education programmes Greater range of product choice Attractions at alternative places to spread tourism activity Monitor fluctuating business activity Provide information to visitors about issues related to congestion Cooperate with site management on movement of groups on-site Cooperate with site management to coordinate arrival schedules Ensure training of tour guides to be sensitive to visitor congestion on-site

28 References Tourism Congestion Management at Natural and Cultural Sites – A Guidebook World Tourism Organization Managing Tourism at World Heritage Sites – A Practical Manual for World Heritage Site Managers UNESCO World Heritage Centre Sustainable Visitation at the Mogao Grottoes: A Methodology for Visitor Carrying Capacity M. Demas, S. Maekawa, J. Bell and N. Agnew. Social and Environmental Monitoring as a Tool for Managing Visitor Impact at Jenolan Caves, Australia R. Mackay.


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