Planning and development are important concepts in the tourism (and ecotourism) industry and one that has several sides. Striking a balance between the requirements of these and viable economic development planning for local tourism and ecotourism is an important task. The objective of his paper is to consider the planning and development of cultural tourism and ecotourism –two significant types of niche tourism for Iran - in such a way as to derive the maximum benefits from it while incurring the minimum negative impacts. In its case study this paper considers the strengths and weaknesses of Iranian tourism planning and in less extended ecotourism and makes recommendations as to the best way to develop Iran’s potential in the field of cultural tourism and ecotourism. This study has been outlined as follows: tourism planning, ecotourism planning, carrying capacity as an important tool for planning and a case study of Iran.