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In the foreground, awesome Pu'u Kanehoalani; in the distance, Oahu's legendary landmark "Chinaman's Hat."

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What is Ecotourism?

Hawaii Ecotourism Association

Ecotourism is nature- and culture- based tourism that is ecologically sustainable and supports the well-being of local communities.


  • appeals to visitors who want contact with nature, local communities and indigenous cultures;
  • targets travelers with special interests who are looking for unique and authentic experiences;
  • takes into account the impacts of the visitor industry upon the environmental, social, cultural and economic fabrics of the local community;
  • strives to conduct its activities in harmony with nature.

Goals of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association:

  • Promote communication and education about ecotourism issues.
  • Provide an information and resource network for visitors residents, tour operators, resource managers, planners, educators, government agencies and other professionals.
  • Promote a visitor industry that is environmentally and culturally sensitive.
  • Promote community-based, sustainable economic development that benefits local residents.
  • Enhance visitors' experiences through effective interpretation.
  • Promote resource conservation.
  • Encourage repeat visitations, longer stays and multi-island itineraries.
  • Provide continuing education and professional development opportunities.