Ecotourism has a substantial and well-publicised potential to boost local and national economies, provide long-term local employment and generate new funds for conservation without damaging biodiversity. Excessive tourism continues to cause serious damage to biologically diverse and fragile areas. Ecotourism's financial and economic potential has remained largely unrealised.

Although governments often assert that the objective of tourism is to maximise foreign exchange income surprisingly little consideration has been given to the question of whether government revenues from tourism could or should be substantially increased through higher fees and charges. At least part of any increase in revenues should logically be reinvested in the conservation and management of the natural and cultural assets that attract tourists. These factors are what the sustainability of the tourist industry and foreign exchange benefits depend upon. With a few notable exceptions, governments appear reluctant to increase visitor fees because of the fear of deterring some visitors and reducing the total number of tourists.