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What is Ecotourism?

Today many different types and definitions of ecotourism exist, however The International Ecotourism SocietyExternal Link (TIES) give the following definition which has been widely accepted:

"responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."

This means that travelers must think and act responsibly in all aspects of their holiday experience in order to minimise their impacts on the environment and local community.

In addition, ecotour companies must hold principles and practices that seek to either preserve/ conserve the environment and wildlife whilst protecting and empowering the local people.

The following principles should be followed by everyone who implements and participates in ecotourism activities:

Minimize impact

Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect

Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts

Provide direct financial benefits for conservation

Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people

Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate

Support international human rights and labor agreements