Reference to sustainable tourism is now made in most strategic tourism planning documents. Yet, despite its common use, definitional arguments exist overits meaning and subsequent operationalisation. In addition to this, literature on sustainable tourism rarely discusses its development prior to the publication of Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), 1987) and its relevance to current conceptualisations of tourism. This paper analyses the context within which sustainable tourism was developed and has recently been conceptualised. It does this by assessing the development of sustainable tourism (with an Australian focus) and proposing a model which incorporates the development of sustainable tourism into tourism. The paper argues that sustainable tourism has traditionally given more focus to aspects related to the environment and economic development and that more focus should be given to community involvement.