The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) is one of the largest tourist areas in India attracting both the international and domestic tourists each year. The Island Administration has a vision to develop the islands as an upmarket island destination for ecotourism. Among the island group, the South Andaman region is the most visited tourist destination and beaches of these islands have great potential for tourism attractions. The present work is an attempt to understand the potential of these beaches by assessing the carrying capacity in terms of number of visitors that can be allowed over a period of time, which will further help with better tourism management. The methodology used to estimate the tourism carrying capacity (TCC) is based on the physical and ecological conditions of each site and the existing infrastructure. The total effective carrying capacity (ECC) estimated for the beaches of Port Blair area (126,301 visitors/day) reveals that the current tourism activity is in lower level compared to its carrying capacity. Such carrying capacity assessments can be used as an input into the regular planning process. Preliminary estimates suggest that A&N Islands can be promoted for high value-low volume, eco-friendly, and environmentally sustainable tourism.
Part of the book: Tourism