IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A multi-agent simulation approach to sustainability in tourism development


  • Elena Maggi


  • Fabrizio Stupino
  • Franco Fredella


In the last decades the increasing facility in moving and the simultaneous fall of the transportation costs have strongly increased the tourist flows. As a consequence, different destinations, especially those which are rich of natural resources, unable or unready to sustain huge tourism flows, present serious problems of sustainability and Tourism Carrying Capacity (TCC). At the present, it is universally recognized that every tourist destination should plan effective and pro-reactive protection policies of its cultural, environmental and social resources. In order to facilitate policies definition it may be useful to measure the Tourist Carrying Capacity, but the literature has highlighted that this is not an easy task for different reasons: among the others, the complexity and the dynamicity of the concept, the absence of a universally accepted definition and the impossibility of assigning an objective scientific value and to apply a rigorous analysis. Thereby, more recently an alternative, or even complementary, interpretation of TCC has developed; it is called LAC, Limit of Acceptable Changes where the focus shifts from: "How much use an area can tolerate?" to "How much change is acceptable?", aiming at evaluating the costs and benefits from alternative management tourism actions. The aim of the paper is to present an innovative framework, based on the LAC approach - MABSiT, Mobile Agent Behavior Simulation in Tourism - developed by the authors, which is composed by five modules: elaboration data, DBMS, ad-hoc maps, agents and ontology. Its modular structure allows to easily study the interactions among the components in order to observe the behavior of the single agents. In an aggregate form, it is possible to define group dynamics, where one possible effect is the influence on the variation of agents' satisfaction perception in comparison to the surroundings environment. The paper will be structured as follows: an introduction will be followed by a literature review; than the methodology and the framework will be presented and applied to a case study: Vieste, a known maritime destination of South of Italy, which is characterized by high problems of seasonality in the summer. Finally, some conclusions and policy recommendations will be drawn.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Maggi & Fabrizio Stupino & Franco Fredella, 2011. "A multi-agent simulation approach to sustainability in tourism development," ERSA conference papers ersa11p948, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p948

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-493, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa11p948. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.