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Proceedings Paper

GIS and agent based spatial-temporal simulation modeling for assessing tourism social carrying capacity: a study on Mount Emei scenic area, China
Author(s): Renjun Zhang
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Paper Abstract

Each scenic area can sustain a specific level of acceptance of tourist development and use, beyond which further development can result in socio-cultural deterioration or a decline in the quality of the experience gained by visitors. This specific level is called carrying capacity. Social carrying capacity can be defined as the maximum level of use (in terms of numbers and activities) that can be absorbed by an area without an unacceptable decline in the quality of experience of visitors and without an unacceptable adverse impact on the society of the area. It is difficult to assess the carrying capacity, because the carrying capacity is determined by not only the number of visitors, but also the time, the type of the recreation, the characters of each individual and the physical environment. The objective of this study is to build a spatial-temporal simulation model to simulate the spatial-temporal distribution of tourists. This model is a tourist spatial behaviors simulator (TSBS). Based on TSBS, the changes of each visitor's travel patterns such as location, cost, and other states data are recoded in a state table. By analyzing this table, the intensity of the tourist use in any area can be calculated; the changes of the quality of tourism experience can be quantized and analyzed. So based on this micro simulation method the social carrying capacity can be assessed more accurately, can be monitored proactively and managed adaptively. In this paper, the carrying capacity of Mount Emei scenic area is analyzed as followed: The author selected the intensity of the crowd as the monitoring Indicators. it is regarded that longer waiting time means more crowded. TSBS was used to simulate the spatial-temporal distribution of tourists. the average of waiting time all the visitors is calculated. And then the author assessed the social carrying capacity of Mount Emei scenic area, found the key factors have impacted on social carrying capacity. The results show that the TSBS-aided method for assessing carrying capacity is dynamic, quantifiable and more accurate.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 August 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6754, Geoinformatics 2007: Geospatial Information Technology and Applications, 67541B (7 August 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.764686
Show Author Affiliations
Renjun Zhang, Chongqing Institute of Technology (China)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6754:
Geoinformatics 2007: Geospatial Information Technology and Applications
Peng Gong; Yongxue Liu, Editor(s)

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