The International Ecotourism Society
Founded in 1990, TIES is the largest and oldest ecotourism organization in the world dedicated to generating and disseminating information about ecotourism. It currently has members in more than 70 countries. The organization's membership includes academics, consultants, conservation professionals and organizations, governments, architects, tour operators, lodge owners and managers, general development experts, and ecotourists. As a non-governmental organization, TIES is unique in its efforts to provide guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, research and publications to foster sound ecotourism development join the growing ranks of ecotourism professionals who are working with the Society to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, poverty alleviation, protection of culture and bio-diversity, sustainable development and educational, as well as enjoyable, travel.
TIES promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people by: Creating an international network of individuals, institutions and the tourism industry Educating tourists and tourism professionals Influencing the tourism industry, public institutions and donors to integrate the principles of ecotourism into their operations and policies.
What is Ecotourism?
TIES defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following principles:
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- Raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate
- Support international human rights and labor agreements.