3 Economic Sustainability Environmental Sustainability Social Sustainability Cultural Sustainability
Sustainable Tourism involves social responsibility, a strong commitment to nature and the integration of local people in any tourist operation or development. Sustainable tourism is defined by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO), the Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Earth Council as:World Tourism OrganisationTourism CouncilEarth Council Sustainable Tourism Development meets the needs of present tourists, host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems. Sustainable tourism products are products which are operated in harmony with the local environment, community and cultures so that these become the beneficiaries not the victims of tourism development. SourceSource
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM The concept of tourism carrying capacity is based on a general statement that any form of development within the carrying capacity of ecosystem means a sustainable development. That fits in a general definition of sustainable development as:.. a form of development which uses the natural ecosystems as resources of production and consumption growth leaving them unchanged for the future generation, or, more simply, defines it.. a development within the carrying capacity of ecosystem. According to such general definition of carrying capacity and sustainable development, sustainable development of tourism can be defined as:.. a form of tourism development which uses natural resources and cultural heritage to increase the number of visitors and the profit from tourist activities, but preserves them for the future generations, or as.. a development of tourism within the carrying capacity of tourist resources. Source
7 This term originated in the biological sciences. It generally refers to the level of human activity and development that an area can absorb before compromising the environment and the quality of the human experience. SourceSource
As defined by UNWTO – the maximum number of people that may visit a tourist destination at the same time, without causing the destruction of the physical, economic, and sociocultural environment or an unacceptable decrease in the quality of visitor’s satisfaction. 8
Middleton and Hawkins Chamberlain (1997) defined Tourism Carrying Capacity (TCC) as «...the level of human activity an area can accommodate without the area deteriorating, the resident community being adversely affected or the quality of visitors experience declining». The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) proposes the following definition of the carrying capacity «The maximum number of people that may visit a tourist destination at the same time, without causing destruction of the physical, economic, socio-cultural environment and an unacceptable decrease in the quality of visitors' satisfaction. » (UNEP/MAP/PAP, 1997). SourceWorld Tourism OrganisationSource
Carrying capacity: The maximum number of people that may visit a tourist destination at the same time, without causing destruction of the physical, economic, socio-cultural environment and an unacceptable decrease in the quality of visitors' satisfaction.The IB splits carrying capacity into environmental carrying capacity and perceptual carrying capacity. Environmental carrying capacity is the maximum number of visitors before environmental harm is done. Perceptual carrying capacity is the maximum number of visitors before visitors consider an impact like noise to be excessive.
O'Reilly (1986) describes two schools of thought. In one, carrying capacity is considered to be the capacity of the destination area to absorb tourism before the host population feels negative impacts. Capacity is dictated by how many tourists are wanted rather than by how many can be attracted. The second school of thought is that tourism carrying capacity is the level beyond which tourist flows decline because certain capacities, as perceived by the tourists themselves, have been exceeded and therefore, the destination area ceases to satisfy and attract them. Factors in the tourism life cycle concept -- in which there are changes over time in the physical environment, the attitudes of tourists, and the attitudes of hosts -- are a logical basis for defining tourism carrying capacity (Martin and Uysal 1990).
Figure 1 Hypothetical Evolution of a Tourist Area (Adapted from Miller and Gallucci, 2004)
Like most products, destinations have a lifecycle. In his 1980 article, Butler proposed a widely-accepted model of the lifecycle of a tourist destination. The basic idea of Butler’s 1980 Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) model is that a destination begins as a relatively unknown and visitors initially come in small numbers restricted by lack of access, facilities, and local knowledge, which is labeled as Exploration in Figure 1 (Miller and Gallucci, 2004). As more people discover the destination, the word spreads about its attractions and the amenities are increased and improved ( Development). Tourist arrivals then begin to grow rapidly toward some theoretical carrying capacity ( Stagnation ), which involves social and environmental limits. The rise from Exploration to Stagnation often happens very rapidly, as implied by the exponential nature of the growth curve. The possible trajectories indicated by dotted lines A-E in Figure 1 are examples of a subset of possible outcomes beyond Stagnation. Examples of things that could cause a destination to follow trajectories A and B toward Rejuvenation are technological developments or infrastructure improvements leading to increased carrying capacity. Examples of things that could cause a destination to follow trajectories C and D are increased congestion and unsustainable development, causing the resources that originally drew visitors to the destination to become corrupted, or no longer exist. The trajectory in Figure 1 of most interest to this research is trajectory E, which is the likely path of a destination following a disaster or crisis.
Tourism Carrying Capacity The limiting factor in tourism carrying capacity can be the attitude of the local population.
direct link between increased community irritation & continual tourism development Source
Butler (1980) believed that tourism destinations progress through a recognizable cycle of evolution, with differing stages of popularity. According to Butler, there are six stages through which tourist areas pass: exploration, involvement, development, consolidation, stagnation, and decline. Changes in the physical and social environment can result in a decline of the tourism industry. Too many tourists can place a burden on a community both environmentally and socially. If the residents of the host community perceive tourism as counterproductive to their welfare, then an attitude of negativity may be shown toward tourists. Repercussions from this may include feelings on the part of the tourists of being unwelcome, resulting in less visitation. If residents are uncomfortable with increasing tourist numbers, their attitudes may change over time (Doxey 1976). In creating an index of resident attitudes, he asserted that this phenomenon starts with euphoria that tourism will provide an economic boon to the community and progresses on a continuum until antagonism occurs when residents feel overwhelmed with tourists. The result of this animosity on the part of local residents may be a decline in tourism. It is vital therefore, that communities interested in tourism development plan for sustainable growth. One method of ensuring that the desires of the community are reflected in planning and policy decisions that support sustainable growth is the assessment of resident attitudes.sustainable
Thus, tourism carrying capacity can be defined as the number of visitors that an area can accommodate before negative impacts occur, either to the physical environment, the psychological attitude of the tourists, or the social acceptance level of the hosts. Physical/biological deterioration of the environment means that the carrying capacity had been exceeded. When tourists are no longer comfortable in a destination area for reasons that include perceived negative attitudes of the local residents, crowding of the area, or deterioration of the environment, then carrying capacity has been exceeded. In addition, social capacity is exceeded when local residents become anti-tourism because the environment is being destroyed, the local culture is being violated, or they are being crowded out of various activities.
EUPHORIA APATHYANNOYANCE ANTAGONISM Initial phase of development, visitors & investors welcome, little planning or control mechanism - exploration Visitors taken for granted, contacts between residents & outsiders more formal (commercial), planning concerned mostly with marketing Saturation points approached, “hosts” have misgivings about tourism, policy makers attempt solutions via increasing infrastructure (rather than limiting growth) - critical on Butler’s curve Irritations openly expressed, visitors seen as cause of all problems, planning now remedial but promotion increased to offset deteriorating reputation of destination
Tourism Carrying Capacity While there are similarities in the concepts of recreational and tourism carrying capacities, the main difference is that tourism carrying capacity includes the residents of a community and their views and actions toward tourism as an economic and social force in their lives. The limiting factor in tourism carrying capacity can be the attitude of the local population. Source Although measuring the carrying capacity of any area has proven elusive, it cannot be ignored if sustainable growth is to be achieved.sustainable
DRAWBACKS OF CARRYING CAPACITY: - Carrying capacity puts a limit on the number of visitors can be politically difficult because local businesses want more tourists to maximize their revenue and many problems are not so much due to numbers of people, but their behavior. - “Limits of acceptable change”: instead how many visitors, should ask what biological and social conditions are acceptable, and how they may be attained (the point is not the number of visitors but their use of resource in a destination) SourceSource
Limits of Acceptable Change 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.S. forest service in the 1980s. It is based on the idea that rather than there being a threshold of visitor numbers, in fact any tourist activity is having an impact and therefore management should be based on constant monitoring of the site as well as the objectives established for it. It is possible that with in the Limit of acceptable change framework a visitor limit can be established but such limits are only one tool available.
Recreational Carrying Capacity Recreational carrying capacity is a multidimensional and dynamic concept capable of manipulation by resource managers in a way that is consistent with administration, budgetary, and resource constraints (Lime and Stankey 1971). Recreational carrying capacity is a management system directed toward maintenance or restoration of ecological and social conditions defined as acceptable and appropriate in area management objectives and not a system directed toward manipulation of use levels (Stankey and McCool 1984). It has also been defined as the level of use beyond which impacts exceed acceptable levels specified by evaluative standards (Shelby and Heberlein 1984).