عنوان مقاله [English]
In the planning and management process of sustainable tourism development, recognizing the ability and proportion of attractions and applying quantitative methods for estimating the amounts of using available resources in them, have important roles in a specific place and time limits.Today, with the increase of cultural tourism, many tourists travel to an area to visit historical monuments of the area. But attendance of a large number of tourists in the monuments could result in irreparable damages, due to their specific structures and properties. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the capacity of historical places for tourism in the country to prevent their destruction and to carry out programs in accordance with existing conditions. Determination of carrying capacity is one of the effective methods to protect from tourism attractions. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) proposes the following definition of the carrying capacity “The maximum number of people that may visit a tourist destination at the same time, without causing destruction of the physical, economic, socio-cultural environment and an unacceptable decrease in the quality of visitors’ satisfaction.” In fallowing the definitions of different sorts of carrying capacity referred to in tourism have been noted:
• Economic carrying capacity
This relates to a level of acceptable change within the local economy of tourist destination, it is the extent to which a tourist destination is able to accommodate tourist functions without the loss of local activities. Economic carrying capacity can also be used to describe the point at which the increased revenue brought by tourism development is overtaken by the inflation caused by tourism.
• Social Carrying Capacity
This relates to the negative socio-cultural affects related to tourism development.
When the social carrying capacity has been exceeded, the indicators are a reduced local tolerance for tourism. Reduced visitor enjoyment and increased crime are also indicators of when the social carrying capacity has been exceeded.
• Biophysical Carrying Capacity
This deals with the extent to which the natural environment is able to tolerate interference from tourists. This is made more complicated by the fact that because it deals with ecology which is able to regenerate to some extent, so in this case the carrying capacity is when the damage exceeds the habitat’s ability to regenerate. Environmental carrying capacity is also used with reference to ecological and physical parameters, capacity of resources, ecosystems and infrastructure.In this study, after determining the effective indices for estimating the capacity of the building, using quantitative methods, TCC, the number of tourists which can be physically and actually attend the mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah, has been calculated. Physical carrying capacity and real carrying capacity of this historical monument have been calculated by these formulas:
• Physical Carrying Capacity (Pcc)
The maximum number of users that can physically fit into a defined place, over a particular time:
Formula: PCC = A x U/a x Rf
A = available area for public use
Ref = Open period / [Average time of utilization/visit]
• Real Carrying Capacity (RCC)
The maximum permissible number of users, once the corrective factors (Cf) derived from the particular characteristics of the site have been applied to the PCC.
Formula: RCC = PCC – Cf1 – Cf2 -…Cfn
Cf = a corrective factor expressed as a percentage
RCC = PCC x (100 – Cf1)% x (100 – Cf2)% x … (100 – Cfn)%
Cf: the corrective factors are obtained by considering the environmental, ecological, social and management variables;
-That a group of corrective factors is not necessarily the same for each historical monument.
-Corrective factors are closely linked to the specific conditions and characteristics of each site or activity;
-Corrective factors are expressed in percentage terms using the following formula:
Cf = [M1 / Mt] x 100
Cf = corrective factor
M1 = limiting magnitude of variable
Mt = total magnitude of variable
The calculation of Sheikh Lotfollah mosque’s physical carrying capacity by above formula shows that this monument’s physical carrying capacity is 3455 viewers per a day and 103650 viewers per a month. So based on the calculated physical carrying capacity and calculated CF, the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque’s real carrying capacity is 3386 viewers per a day and 101580 viewers per a month.According to available statistics, the results show that the number of the visitors of the mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah, only in Nowrooz is higher than the daily real carrying capacity of the building and it is much lower than the monthly amount of real carrying capacity in other months of the year. Also statistics clarify that the number of the visitors decreases in winter strongly. Therefore, we should perform limited politics in high seasons and persuasive politics in low seasons. In this manner, we will able to protect this historical monument and utilize it correctly.