Ecotourism vs. Nature Tourism vs. Sustainable Tourism vs. Responsible Tourism

travelling friends

Considering that eco, nature, sustainable and responsible are synonyms, it’s easy to misuse these words in the context of travel and tourism. Thus, we have provided definitions of each of the above types of tourism, so you get to decide which one is your priority.


According to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), ecotourism is “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.

In other words, travellers act responsibly in order to minimize their impact on the environment and the local community.

Wikipedia also says that the purpose of ecotourism is to educate the traveller on how to behave in order to contribute to the ecological conservation and economic development of the local communities.

Nature Tourism

Although nature tourism is pretty close to ecotourism, it focuses more on enjoying and respecting the wildlife and the environment without the educational element in ecotourism. It simply means visiting natural areas, per an online dictionary.

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism has created both great economic benefits and environmental and social harms. Thus the idea behind sustainable tourism is to attempt to make a lower impact on the environment and the local culture, while at the same time it helps to ensure future employment for local people. Sustainable tourism also aims to bring a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves, as per Wikipedia.

Responsible Tourism explains that responsible tourism focuses on the fact that locals are exploited and that natural and cultural resources are treated without respect.

Responsible travel also means that you as a traveller treat the locals of a particular destination with the same respect you would expect to see in your own community as you are simply entering someone else’s home. In short, responsible tourism “creates better places for people to live in and better places to visit.”


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Eco-tourism is wide and need more elaboration on how it helps to improve domestic tourism in kenya

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