Using Tourism Carrying Capacity to Strengthen UNESCO Global Geopark Management in Hong Kong

Wei Guo, Shan Shan CHUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Tourism carrying capacity (TCC) is a measure of the optimum use level of visitors who can use a site without creating environmental degradation. This study demonstrates how this concept can be used to strengthen the management of the only United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark in Hong Kong. A research model is proposed based on the criteria of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN). A confirmatory factor analysis and a structural equation modelling (SEM) procedure are performed on the case study of Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (HKGP). The validity of the TCC research model is confirmed. The results further demonstrate that TCC has been achieved in HKGP; the local community highly agrees with the three management principles of the Global Geopark; and the three dimensions of sustainable geotourism (i.e. environmental carrying capacity (ECC), socio-demographic carrying capacity (SCC), and political-economic carrying capacity (PCC)) have strong positive inter-relationships with each other. This study demonstrates a novel way to use the TCC web of elements to evaluate sustainable tourism practices in a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Geotourism
  • Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark
  • Local community
  • Tourism carrying capacity
  • Visitor satisfaction


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