Publication Details

Marsiglio, S. (2017). On the carrying capacity and the optimal number of visitors in tourism destinations. Tourism Economics: the business and finance of tourism and recreation, 23 (3), 632-646.


Tourism specialization on the one hand may be a successful tool to achieve fast economic growth, and, on the other hand, may be detrimental for natural resources. Finding the right balance between economic benefits and environmental costs is essential to reach sustainable development, ensuring that tourist numbers do not exceed the carrying capacity of the tourism destination. In this context, the author analyses the determination of the optimal number of visitors in a tourism-based economy, and shows that if the tourist number is optimally determined long-run sustainable growth will be possible. He also shows that the optimal number of tourists is strictly smaller than the carrying capacity of the tourism destination, and that such a condition is vital to achieve long-run growth.



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