Carrying Capacity Assessment:
Carrying Capacity Assessment is a tool for protecting hilly areas through sustainable tourism. It highlights the growth of tourism globally and its impacts, both positive and negative, on hilly regions.
- Carrying capacity refers to the maximum number of people a tourist destination can accommodate without harming the environment or the quality of visitor satisfaction.
Five components of carrying capacity:
- Physical Carrying Capacity (PCC): The maximum number of people a destination can physically accommodate without causing harm or degradation. Example: The national park can handle 1,000 visitors per day based on available parking and trails.
- Social Carrying Capacity (SCC) :The perceptual and psychological capacity of a place, considering visitor experience and impact on local residents.Example: Quiet beach town maintains a tranquil atmosphere with a limited number of visitors.
- Infrastructure Carrying Capacity (ICC) :The capacity of man-made facilities (hotels, parking, etc.) to support tourism activities. Example: Ski resorts can handle a certain number of skiers based on available lifts and lodges.
- Environmental Carrying Capacity (ECC) : Number of tourists a site can sustain without harming the natural environment. Example: The fragile coral reef has a low ECC to protect it from damage by snorkelers or divers.
- Economic Carrying Capacity (ECC) :The balance between tourism’s economic impact and the local economy benefits businesses without overwhelming them. Example: The small tourist-dependent town has an ECC to ensure economic benefits while maintaining community well-being.