Reducing inequality and promoting sustainable economic development have become two of the most pressing concerns for global economies. Since economic and tourism development cannot occur without involving issues surrounding natural resources, perceptions and opinions regarding sustainability cannot be excluded from deliberations when it comes to economic development. However, coordination between local governments, business stakeholders, and other community members of a local economy is imperative in order to effectively promote the development of sustainable tourism. Therefore, this paper aims to further explore the idea of developing sustainable tourism and local economic development (LED) by determining whether there are any differences between the local government, business stakeholders, and the community regarding their perceptions of the importance of tourism sustainability in a local economy. This study follows a quantitative approach using primary data collected via a questionnaire distributed to the three groups. SPSS was used to conduct data analysis, with the results indicating a statistically significant difference concerning the natural and cultural sustainability of the Vaal Triangle region, South Africa. For example, business stakeholders believed that natural and cultural sustainability presented a major challenge to regional development. However, the local government did not recognise these factors as significant or challenging to regional development. This study contributes to the research gap on tourism sustainability and its critical role in influencing the local economies.
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