The term differs from sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, green tourism, and nature-based tourism in that ecotourism has the added dimension of actively benefiting the environment and the local communities (see below).
Ecotourism activities are, in of itself, issues in environmental impact because they disturb fauna and flora.
There have been a number of negative impacts and challenges associated with ecotourism.
Where the ecotourism activity involves wildlife viewing, it can scare away animals, disrupt their feeding and nesting sites, or acclimate them to the presence of people.
The underdevelopment theory of tourism describes a form of economic domination by multinational corporations that control ecotourism resources.
Often, the negative impacts are associated with the fact that "ecotour" companies may be promoting a form of tourism that is not true ecotourism according to the definitions presented above.
According to the definition of ecotourism presented above, such practices are not true ecotourism, and may be referred to as "pseudo-ecotourism."
The government and its regulators can become vested in the benefits of the ecotourism industry which they are supposed to regulate, causing restrictive environmental regulations and enforcement to become more lenient.
Sometimes, the term ecotourism is used for the placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem.
Ecotourism also may have more limited potential for protecting the environment than is assumed.
The seven largest cities in Missouri are Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, Columbia, Lee's Summit, and Saint Joseph.
Green tourism, while often used interchangeably with ecotourism, is travel, activity, or facility operating in an environmentally friendly manner.
The lack of glacial history also accounts for Maryland's soil, which is more sandy and muddy than the rocky soils of New England.
Ecotourists believe that because they are only taking pictures and leaving footprints, they keep ecotourism sites pristine, but even harmless sounding activities such as a nature hike can be ecologically destructive.
The increased contributions of communities to locally managed ecotourism create viable economic opportunities, including high level management positions, and reduce environmental issues associated with poverty and unemployment.
Without economic incentive, the whole premise of self interest through environmental protection is quashed; instead, ecotourism companies will minimize environment-related expenses and maximize tourism demand.
The failure to clearly identify responsible, low impact ecotourism as such, versus "pseudo-ecotourism," puts true ecotourism companies at a competitive disadvantage.
Ecotourism, responsible tourism, jungle tourism, and sustainable development have become prevalent concepts since the mid 1980s, and ecotourism has experienced arguably the fastest growth of all sub-sectors in the tourism industry.
Most forms of ecotourism are owned by foreign investors and corporations that provide few benefits to local communities.
In Zimbabwe and Nepal's Annapurna region, where underdevelopment is taking place, more than 90 percent of ecotourism revenues are expatriated to the parent countries, and less than 5 percent go into local communities.
Many environmentalists have argued for a global standard of accreditation, differentiating ecotourism companies based on their level of environmental commitment.
Management of ecotourism sites by private ecotourism companies offers an alternative to the cost of regulation and deficiency of government agencies.
At the local level, ecotourism has become a source of conflict over control of land, resources, and tourism profits, which has led to harming the environment and the local people.
Ecotourists who consider their choices would be confident of a genuine ecotourism experience when they see the higher star rating.
Ecotourism also has an effect on species through the value placed on them, and if valued, there may be an overproduction of them.
A company that protects its ecotourism sites is able to charge a premium for the novel experience and pristine environment.
Environmental organizations have generally insisted that ecotourism is nature-based, sustainably managed, conservation supporting, and environmentally educated.
The Ladakh festival occurs every year in September.
Ecotourism often claims that it preserves and "enhances" local cultures.
Ecotourism typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions.
Aside from environmental degradation with tourist infrastructure, population pressures from ecotourism also leaves behind garbage and pollution.
The decisions of the board would be sanctioned by governments, so that non-compliant companies would be legally required to disassociate themselves from the use of the ecotourism brand.
Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people.
Taken together, the mobility of foreign investment and lack of economic incentive for environmental protection means that ecotourism companies are disposed to establishing themselves in new sites once their existing one is sufficiently degraded.