Ecotourism, what it means

Ecotourism : what does it mean ?

What is Ecotourism ?

Ecotourism (or green tourism) is defined by ‘ The International Ecotourism Society ‘ ( TIES)* as ” a responsible journey in the natural spaces, which protects the environment and improves the well-being of the local populations. “

It is a type of sustainable tourism, oriented on the discovery and the respect for the nature, which aims to raise travelers as well as local populations awareness of the need to protect the environment. It means, according to TIES, that those who participate in the activities of ecotourism should follow the these principles:

. Minimize our impact by paying attention on our ecological footprint

. Develop a consciousness and a respect for the environment and the culture

. Supply positive experiences both for visitors and for hosts

. Supply direct financial benefits for the preservation and for the local populations

The final statement of the World Ecotourism Summit organized in 2002 by the ‘World Tourism Organization’ (UNWTO)**, specifies the particular principles which seperate ecotourism of the wider notion of sustainable tourism:

. Ecotourism gather all types of tourism in which the main motivation of the tourist is to observe and to appreciate the nature as well as the traditional cultures which reign in the natural zones

. Ecotourism includes the local and native communities in its development and its exploitation and contributes to their well-being 

. Ecotourism helps local populations and tourists to become more aware of the necessity to protect the natural and cultural capital

. Ecotourism has an educational part about the natural and cultural heritage

. Ecotourism helps the protection of natural zones:

By giving economic advantages to the communities, to the organizations and to the administrations which care for the conservation of the natural zones;
By creating work and income for the local populations.


ties, the international ecotoourism societyThe International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a program of the International Tourism Collective, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism. Founded in 1990, TIES has been on the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, and educational resources. TIES’ global network of ecotourism professionals and travelers is leading the efforts to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development.

Ecotourism : The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)Ecotourism : The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)  is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.