Ecotourism, responsible tourism, and sustainable development have become prevalent concepts since the late 1980s. Ecotourism has experienced the fastest growth of all sub-sectors in the tourism industry. The popularity represents a change in tourist perceptions, increased environmental awareness, and a desire to explore natural environments. Year 2002 was celebrated by United Nations as International Year of Ecotourism.
Ecotourism can promote biological and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection. It can promote sustainable use of biodiversity by providing jobs to local populations through sharing socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation in the ecotourism enterprises. Ecotourism also minimizes wastage and environmental impact through sensitized tourists. It can be one of the medium to preserve local culture, flora and fauna and other natural resources.