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:
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: