Threshold, carrying capacity and the sustainability of tourism: A case study of Belize

G. Hughes, P. Furley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recent growth of tourism to Belize poses an ecological threat to its coastal margin prompting concern that the development of tourism must be made more 'sustainable'. The impact of this threat will be difficult to encorporate into the management of tourism which is dominated by economic rather than environmental impact. This paper considers the development and effectiveness of bio-indicators for monitoring the environmental carrying capacities and threshold limits of tourist impact and draws attention to the particular difficulties posed in achieving this at the level of interacting ecosystems. The discussion draws attention to the empirical and conceptual limitations of bio-indicators but argues that their development is nonetheless a necessary step in articulating the significance of the environment, as a balancing consideration, to the otherwise economically dominant and expansionist rhetoric of tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-51
Number of pages16
JournalCaribbean Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1996


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