The man who led the campaign to get World Heritage status for the Lake District is concerned people view it as a "money making venture" rather than a chance to protect the area.
Lord Clark of Windermere was speaking on the anniversary of it being awarded.
He called for more protection for landscape and people, rather than new ventures like zip wires and gondolas.
Cumbria Tourism said the status was already having a positive impact on local businesses.
Lord Clark said he would like to see fewer developments where making money was the primary goal.
"People don't come to see a zip wire," he said.
"The 18 million people don't come to see a posh hotel, they want to stay in a nice hotel, a nice B&B, of course, but they come to see the beauty of the place."
World Heritage status - awarded on 9 July 2017 - means the Lake District joined the likes of attractions such as the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal and Machu Picchu.
Cumbria Tourism said since then a fifth of businesses said they had already felt the benefit, and two thirds believe they will in the future.
Its vice-chairman, Jim Walker, said things would only get better.
He said: "We think this is a really positive opportunity to stabilise the Cumbria visitor economy ... £2.9bn to spend, so it's a really important part of economy."