Projection of tourist scenarios onto fragility maps: Framework for determination of provisional tourist carrying capacity in a Brazilian show cave


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Publication Date

April 2013


Traditionally, the concept of tourist carrying capacity has been understood as a tool for planning tourism in natural areas. As such it has focused on quantifying impacts that are consistent with maintaining a specific environment. In this article tourist carrying capacity is considered from a different viewpoint in a case study of a Brazilian show cave, the Diabo cave, near Eldorado city, São Paulo state. In this instance decisions concerning tourism had been based primarily on the advantages that tourism could provide in maintaining economic-administrative sustainability and community support. More recently, other factors based on natural limitations have been considered in a process of participative discussion among stakeholders seeking to preserve the caves and their sustainable usage. This process led to the conclusion that the carrying capacity of the caves should be flexible, conditioned by protocols of environmental monitoring with reference to levels of demand. Such monitoring, it is hoped, will permit the adjustment of the initial cave limits as a function of changes in the patterns of consumption, local realities, and the identification of unanticipated yet unacceptable environmental impacts.


Tourist, Brazilian, Show Cave, Fragility Maps

Document Type



Tourism Management, Vol. 35 (2013-04-01).