Tourism development is a priority for rural and regional areas of Australia. The challenge is how to develop the tourism industry in a sustainable manner. As part of a larger project investigating community perceptions of opportunities, strategies and challenges in regional sustainable development, this article explores participant's views and opinions of tourism development. Through purposive sampling, 28 local community leaders and residents in the Darling Downs region in Queensland, Australia, participated in four semi-structured focus groups. This paper focuses on two of these focus groups, where tourism was a critical issue. Participants were generally positive about the tourism industry and its impacts on their community, although they expressed several triple bottom line concerns about economic, environmental and scoial issues. Four key themes emerged: appropriate land use management, limited resources and ageing/insufficient infrastructure, preservaation of community heritage and lifestyle, and regional conflict. Residents supported sustainable tourism development and wanted to be more actively involved in decision-making, demanding greater transparency - and true engagement - from local government
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