The meaning of development and a number of competing development theories are reviewed. It is indicated that sustainable development has emerged as a concept into a field fraught with contention and debate. A distinction is made between sustainable development and sustainable tourism, and it is suggested that the latter in particular is an inadequate concept primarily because it is single-sector in orientation. Nevertheless, to the extent that the concepts engender a long-term perspective, foster notions of equity, encourage the search for and evaluation of types of tourism, promote an appreciation of the importance of intersectoral linkages, and facilitate dialogue between individuals and groups whose perspectives might at first sight appear to be at odds, they are useful catalysts in the search for more benign types of tourism which can contribute to longterm development, broadly conceived.