Originally started as a way to help fund scientific research and conservation, ecotourism is in the forefront of the public eye. A way to still help protect our fragile ecosystems, promote development in poor towns and countries, and instill environmental awareness,
Excerpt: In 1990, the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the world's first ecotourism organization, coined what has become the most popular and succinct, yet ecompassing, definition of ecotourism: "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." Ecotourism is often claimed to be the most rapidly expanding sector of the tourism industry, but when its growth is measured, ecotourism is often lumped together with nature, wildlife, and adventure tourism. In fact, ecotourism should be viewed as distinct from these other categories… Whereas nature, wildlife, and adventure tourism are defined solely by the recreational activities of the tourist, ecotourism is defined as well by a set of principles that include its benefits to both conservation and people in the host country.