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Ecotourism is defined as responsible travel to natural areas or ecosystems that would help to maintain conserve the aesthetic values of the environment and biodiversity and also improve the well being of the local people residing in that area.
"Putting tourism on a sustainable path is a major challenge, but one that also presents a significant opportunity"- by Klaus Topfer, UNEP Executive Director

According to International Ecotourism society (TIES, 1991) - Ecotourism is defined as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well being of local people.

IUCN in 1996 gave the definition for ecotourism as- "Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features- both past and present) that promotes conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations."
Prime motives of Ecotourism is observation and appreciation of natural features and related cultural assets of that place.It stresses the role of local community, its involvement in educating travellers about value of healthy environment and the biological diversity.
Goals of ecotourism can be categorized as natural area focus, ecological sustainability, contribution to conservation, work with local communities, cultural component, minimize visitor impact, and responsible marketing.