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Recreation carrying capacity estimations to support beach management at Praia de Faro, Portugal

Authors
Journal
Applied Geography
0143-6228
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
31
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.01.020
Keywords
  • Recreation
  • Beach Management
  • Carrying Capacity
  • Praia De Faro
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Ecology

Abstract

Abstract The purpose of this research paper is to outline the theory and practice of tourism carrying capacity assessment and its relevance as a management tool for coastal management. Based on the Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment for Protected Areas Framework and the Image Capture Technique associated with the PAOT (people at one time) approach, this paper explores Praia de Faro as the study area and attempts to assess the optimum number of people that should be allowed without jeopardizing the surrounding ecological, social and cultural environments. Results showed that the physico-ecological carrying capacity should be between 1385 and 2628 visitors/day with maximum impact acceptability curves being 305 and 608 tourists (for local people and tourists respectively). Although there was a significant difference between the physico-ecological and socio-cultural carrying capacity, this study suggests that the physico-ecological carrying may be applied for ecosystem management, whilst the socio-cultural carrying capacity may be addressed when management objectives are tourists and beach users.

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