According to The International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is simply defined as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.
For the benefit of local communities and to conserve regional biodiversity, it is time now to restore the original intent and meaning of ecotourism. This site aims to assist in achieving this important goal.
Ecotourism. A brilliant concept, even a term that ignites the imagination! yet a word oft overused, misused, abused or widely misunderstood. It therefore bears repeating:
“While 'nature-based tourism' simply describes travel to natural places, ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism that benefits local communities and destinations environmentally, culturally and economically. Ecotourism represents a set of principles that have been successfully implemented in various global communities, and are supported by extensive industry and academic research. Ecotourism, when properly executed based on these principles, exemplifies the benefits of socially and environmentally sound tourism development."
More information about ecotourism can be found at The International Ecotourism Society or by following the links in the left column.
“Tourism and biodiversity are intimately related. In fact, the prosperity of tourism industry is directly dependent upon healthy ecosystems. Most tourism activities are also directly based on the many services provided by ecosystems. These recreational values offered by ecosystems have been recognized as one of the main cultural services that nature provides to humankind, along with spiritual, aesthetic, and educational values. Tourism related activities and services, if carried out in a sustainable manner, can have major synergies with the conservation agenda:
- Tourism can create economic development opportunities as an alternative to unsustainable use of biodiversity
- Tourism can generate funds for conservation of the visited sites (through corporate donations, individual visitor contributions, etc)
- Tourism can raise awareness and support the education of locals and visitors alike on the values of biodiversity”