Ecotourism is perhaps the most over-used and miss-used word in the travel industry. The Ecotourism Society defines it as "responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people".  Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize impact.
  • 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.

Ecotourism is growing by 10% to 12% per annum in the international tourism market. It has potential to become a key feature of sustainable rural communities of the future with positive outcomes and impacts on rural dwellers throughout Roscommon and Meath. Well planned and managed ecotourism services are a viable agri-diversification avenue for rural entrepreneurs and farm families.