Pessoa, R.M.C., Pereira, L.C.C., Sousa, R.C., Magalhães, A., and da Costa, R.M., 2013. Recreational Carrying Capacity of an Amazon Macrotidal Beach During Vacation Periods.
Ajuruteua is one of the most popular beaches in the Brazilian state of Pará, and receives thousands of visitors during the peak summer months, primarily in July. The present study focused on the spatial and temporal patterns of use of Ajuruteua beach during the peak visitation period (July) and the rainy season (Easter holiday in April). The data were used to estimate the beach's recreational carrying capacity during the two seasons, as well as to formulate guidelines for future public policies related to local beach management. Larger numbers of beachgoers were recorded during the July sample, although substantial numbers were also observed during April, due to the low rainfall and high levels of sunshine during the specific period. During July, the peak visitation days were Saturday and Sunday. Peak visitation times were between 11:00 h and 12:00 h, and carrying capacity ranged from 6.0–1010.35 m2 per person in zone 1, 1.85–2575 m2 per person in zone 2, and 6.82–150 m2 per person in zone 3. In April, Friday and Saturday were the most popular days. Peak visitation times were between 12:00 h and 13:00 h, and carrying capacity was 7.07–72.17 m2 per person in zone 1, 53.91–436.67 m2 per person in zone 2, and 9.76–400 m2 per person in zone 3. Carrying capacity exceeded tolerable limits in July, and there is a clear need for the implementation of adequate coastal management strategies in order to improve local tourist facilities during peak vacation periods.