This chapter examines the implications of adopting tourism development as an explicit strategy in an economic development program. It focuses on factors promoting an increase in tourism, the institutional setting of tourism programs, and some benefits and liabilities of employing a tourism development strategy. The chapter deals with a discussion of tourism’s role in nonmetropolitan economic development. It utilizes the liberal and comprehensive definition provided by Tourism USA: a tourist is anyone who has traveled to a community but who does not plan to stay there on a permanent basis. Tourism is a significant component in the nonmetropolitan economies of most western states, and it is likely that tourism’s position in nonmetropolitan areas will become stronger as metropolitan areas grow and become more affluent. Tourism is part of the nation’s burgeoning service sector, and it is generally perceived as being a clean, image-enhancing industry.