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Mediterranean countries together provide destinations for 30 per cent of the world's tourist arrivals and originate some 28 per cent of the total world's receipts from tourism. This clearly indicates that tourism is one of the most important industries in the Mediterranean. This is also why the need was felt for more appropriate methods of tourism planning and management, especially with regard to conflicts between tourism and other branches of economy, and tourism negative impacts upon the environment.

PAP activity in this field started in 1985. Its first phase (1985-1989) included a series of seminars and expert meetings organised to present and discuss national reports and case studies produced by participating countries. These reports and studies provided grounds for the formulation of a proposal of a methodology for Carrying Capacity Assessment (CCA) in tourism. After that proposal has been presented and discussed at a workshop organised in 1990 by UNEP's Industry and Environment Office and World Tourism Organisation, pilot studies for CCA were prepared for the Brijuni archipelago and the island of Vis in Croatia, the central-eastern part of the island of Rhodes in Greece, the area of Marsa Matrouh - Fuka in Egypt, and the Lalzit Bay in Albania.

At the beginning of 1994, making use of the experience obtained through the work in the first phase of the activity, a team of experts drafted the Guidelines for carrying capacity assessment for tourism in Mediterranean coastal areas with the aim to provide a comprehensive methodological document and a procedure for the analysis and assessment of carrying capacity, and to incorporate it within the integrated planning and management of Mediterranean coastal areas. The final version of the Guidelines was published in 1997 and presented in a series of national training courses organised at the request of the countries.





Report on the Seminar "Coastal Tourism in the Mediterranean: Adapting to Climate Change" Cagliari (Sardinia), Italy, 8 - 10 June 2009

(Download Cagliari Seminar_Final Report.pdf // 1 MB) 


Rapport sur le Séminaire « Tourisme côtier en Méditerranée : Adaptation au changement climatique » Cagliari (Sardaigne), Italie, 8 – 10 juin 2009

(Download: Cagliari Seminar – Rapport.pdf // 1Mb)



Guidelines for sustainable tourism investment

Algeria / Algérie :

RAPPORT de l’Atelier de clôture du projet (Tipaza, le 8 novembre 2009)

(Download : Atelier de Cloture_Rapport.pdf // Mb)

Algérie : Stratégie de développement du tourisme durable

(DownloadStratégie de développement du tourisme durable.pdf // Mb)

Algérie : Choix et évaluation environnementale de la structure pilote : La Corne d'Or

(Download : Choix et évaluation environnementale de la structure pilote La Corne d'Or.pdf // Mb)


Morocco / Maroc :

RAPPORT de l’Atelier de clôture du projet (Al Hoceïma, le 19 octobre 2009)

(Download: AtelierFinal-Rapport.pdf // Mb)

Maroc : Stratégie pour le développement d'un tourisme durable dans la région du projet

(DownloadWEB MAROC – Strategie pour le developpement d’un tourisme durable.pdf // Mb)

Maroc : Evaluation environnementale initiale des structures pilotes choisies

(Download : WEB MAROC – Evaluation environnementale initiale des structures pilotes choisies.pdf // Mb)


Tunisia / Tunisie :

RAPPORT de l'Atelier de clôture du projet (Korba, le 30 octobre 2009)

(Download : Atelier de Cloture_Rapport.pdf)

Tunisie : Stratégie de développement du tourisme durable dans le Cap Bon

(Download : WEB TUNISIE : Strategie de developpement du tourisme durable dans le Cap Bon.pdf)

Tunisie : Rapport sur le choix et l'évaluation environnementale des structures pilotes
(Download : WEB TUNISIE : Rapport sur le choix et l’évaluation environnementale des structures pilotes.pdf)


UNEP & PAP/RAC. 2009. Sustainable Coastal Tourism - An integrated planning and management approach

(Download DTIx1091xPA-SustainableCoastalTourism-Planning.pdf // 2.6 MB)


PAP/RAC. 2008. Sustainable Tourism Development in Croatian Coastal Area - Pilot project Baska Voda. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. iii + 74

(Download Baska Voda Tourism.pdf // 1.26 MB)


PAP/RAC. 2008. Održivi razvoj turizma na hrvatskom priobalju - Pilot projekt Baška Voda. Split: PAP/RAC. pp. iii + 74


(Download Baska Voda turizam.pdf // 1.42 MB)


PAP/RAC 2003. Guide to Good Practice in Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment.Split: PAP/RAC. pp. 44.

(Download Guide English.pdf // 811 KB)

The experiences gathered through the PAP action “Development of Mediterranean Tourism Harmonised with the Environment” have shown that Tourism Carrying Capacity Assessment (CCA) has proved to be an efficient planning tool applicable both in less developed as well as highly developed tourism areas. The analysis of some CCA examples completed without, or only with the partial use of the PAP methodology, has shown that CCA can be useful either as a independent activity aimed at planning tourism activity, or as an input to Integrated Coastal Area Management or similar planning processes. The aim of the “Guide to good practice in tourism carrying capacity assessment” is to discuss various practices in tourism CCA, including those using methodologies other than that of PAP, and to stimulate new ideas for the future preparation of CCA studies in the Mediterranean and in other parts of the world. The examples of CCA presented in the document help to demonstrate in which types of area, in both geographic and economic terms, CCA can be used in a most efficient way. Additional methodologies and techniques, which can be introduced, are indicated, and approaches on how best to manage the process of public participation and public awareness in CCA are also presented. This Guide also stresses the differences in approaches to CCA, with regard to decision-making, the integration in other planning and management documents and follow-up activities. Finally, in order to clarify CCA methodology to people who are not familiar with it, special attention is given to crucial elements in the preparation of CCA, such as data management, the use of sustainable tourism indicators, the identification and selection of development scenarios, and particularly in the calculation of Tourism Carrying Capacity.



SATTA, A. and PALMISANI, F. 2003. Évaluation de la Capacité d'Accueil pour le développement du tourisme dans les régions côtières méditerranéennes. Split: PAP/RAC. pp 63. FRA
(Download Word document/ 566 kb)

MANGION, M.-L. 2001. Carrying Capacity Assessment for Tourism in the Maltese Islands. St. Julian’s: Ministry of Tourism. pp. x + 38. ENG

DRAGICEVIC, M., KLARIC, Z., and KUSEN, E. 1997. Guidelines for Carrying Capacity Assessment for Tourism in Mediterranean Coastal Areas. PAP-9/1997/G.1. Split: PAP/RAC. pp viii + 51. ENG/FRA/CRO

(Download GuidelinesCarrying.pdf / 921 kb)
(Download Directivesdaccueil.pdf / 982kb)

The main objective of these Guidelines is to establish a global framework of methodologies and procedures, which would help to better understand the tourism carrying capacity assessment, its analysis and evaluation and, finally, its efficient utilisation within the coastal area management. These Guidelines are focused on the Mediterranean countries which receive about 30% of the world's tourist arrivals and realise 28% of the total international tourism revenue. Given that tourism is an important branch of the Mediterranean economy, it is necessary to do everything that is possible to eliminate or mitigate its negative impacts, in particular on the natural environment, which constitutes its main resource, and which degradation has a direct impact on tourism. At present, one can say for certain that the introduction of the Carrying Capacity Assessment (CCA) in the process of integrated coastal area management is a necessity without which the Mediterranean countries can not achieve the tourist or economic progress in the future. This document provides detailed instructions for the assessment of the tourism carrying capacity, divided into four main phases, namely: documentation and mapping; analysis; tourism development options; and CCA formulation. As an example, here are presented the assessments already done for the islands of Rhodes (Greece) and Vis (Croatia).


DRAGICEVIC, M. 1991. Carrying Capacity Assessment for Tourism Activities in the Island of Vis. PAP-9/CC.1. Split: PAP/RAC. pp 49. ENG

This paper represents another example of the application of carrying capacity assessment, this time for the island of Vis (Croatia). First, the concept of carrying capacity assessment is briefly presented, as well as the principal features of the island of Vis. The second part analyses the relevant data on the island, and presents the objectives and interests of the development of tourism in Vis. It must be pointed out that the island of Vis, due to its long period of isolation and use for military purposes, avoided the sudden development of tourism characteristic of the region, and now represents à practically virgin area. A great care is therefore necessary when planning tourism development, in order to avoid the mistakes made in other similar areas. The study presents several possible scenarios of tourism development, ranging from the "sale" of the island and unlimited development, to strict limitation to "alternative" tourism without any construction of new capacities. The study suggests the adoption of the concept of sustainable development, and presents that concept in detail.


DRAGICEVIC, M. and KUSEN, E. 1990. Methodological Framework for Assessing Tourism Carrying Capacity in Mediterranean Coastal Zones. PAP-9/MP.1. Split: PAP/RAC. pp 43. ENG

PAP/RAC has prepared this paper with the intention to facilitate the application of this instrument in the Mediterranean countries. After the definition of the problem, the state and problems of the Mediterranean tourism are briefly presented, as well as the instruments and measures for mitigating the negative effects of tourism in the region. The concept of carrying capacity assessment and the procedure of its application are then presented in detail. That procedure is illustrated on the example of the island Veliki Brijun.


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