Sousa, R.C., Pereira, L.C.C., Costa, R.M. and Jiménez, J.A., 2014. Tourism carrying capacity on estuarine beaches in the Brazilian Amazon region. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 545–550, ISSN 0749-0208.
Tourism Carrying Capacity (TCC) can be defined as the level of human activity that an area can support without provoking deterioration of its physical and environmental characteristics. The present study aimed to estimate the maximum number of visitors that Colares, Marudá and Murubira beaches can receive during periods of peak visitation. The TCC was calculated considering the Physical Carrying Capacity (PCC), the Real Carrying Capacity (RCC), and the Effective Carrying Capacity (ECC) of each beach. In each survey, the number of visitors along a pre-established transect (central portion of each beach) was counted every hour (8 am until 6 pm). The maximum recommended ECC values indicated a maximum of 674 visitors per day at Colares, 812 visitors per day at Marudá and 97 visitors per day at Murubira. In comparison with these recommendations, the observed numbers of visitors were relatively high at Marudá (885 visitors) and Murubira beaches (297 visitors), while Colares was within the suggested limit (193 visitors). Peak visitation rates were recorded between 1 pm and 4 pm, and observed carrying values varied from 1.5 to over 5.000 m2 per visitor at Colares beach, 0.7–426 m2 per visitor at Marudá beach, and 1.7–42.9 m2 at Murubira. The results of the present study indicated that the density of visitors on the study beaches exceeded tolerable limits, and that coastal management measures are necessary to improve local tourist activities.