The maximum number of visitors/participants that a site/event can satisfy at one time.

environmental carrying capacity (the maximum number before the local environment becomes damaged) and

perceptual carrying capacity (the maximum number before a specific group of visitors considers the level of impact, such as noise, to be excessive).


the concept of carrying capacity

The concept of tourism carrying capacity arises from a perception that tourism cannot grow forever in a place without causing irreversible damage to the local system. Tourist attractions are assets which cannot be reproduced. 

A maximum number of users visiting tourist attractions lead to their saturation and, in turn, results in a poorer quality of tourist experience. The negative effects of saturation can also be felt in the neighbouring, unsaturated areas, the attraction of which is diminished by unattractive environments and the associated lower quality of tourist demand in the immediate vicinity. In other words, the greater the intensity of tourist use, the more limited the appeal of the tourist attraction becomes.

The high level of tourist activity in a certain region inevitably results in economic, environmental and social impacts. Some destinations are heavily dependent upon tourism in particular, because of the lack of other economic activities through which they would be able to sustain a standard of living. 




>>> Write a paragraph summarising the information above


case study: rideralp, valais, switzerland


strategies to maximise capacity

  • Promotions for families allowing children under 9 to ski for free

strategies to minimise conflict between local residents and visitors

  • Laws prohibiting foreigners from buying properties in the Alps
  • Local involvement in and ownership of the tourism sector
  • Banning of cars in Riederalp village


strategies to avoid environmental damage

  • Protected areas off-limits to skiing
  • Waste and recycling stations in mountain villages
  • Waste removed from stations using special cable cars for bins
  • Signs show people where to walk/cycle etc so damage is limited to certain areas

TASK: Create a collage of images with titles showing the management strategies listed above