Ecotourism is one of the most advocated concepts in tourism studies, yet there remains considerable debate onwhat the meaning is, orwhat it should be. Despite this lack of clarity, there is a broad set of ecotourism principlesthat are clear and widely promoted, including environmental conservation and education, cultural preservationand experience, and economic benefits. Based on these principles, this paper compares local understanding ofecotourism from the perspectives of ecotourism-related agency staff, and local communities adjacent to theKakum Conservation Area, Ghana. Using a qualitative research approach, agency staff and community residentswere involved in interview conversations. Findings indicate a limited agency understanding of ecotourism, andlocal community confusion between conservation and ecotourism.