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The basic contention of the paper is that environmental dangers have economic implications, in that they ‘soil one’s own nest’ in the long run. This is especially so in the case of tourism, which to an extent depends on a pleasant and attractive environment. It is shown that small islands like Malta depend to a large degree on tourism, and that there are ecological dangers associated with such dependence. The question as to who is to pay for associated environmental degradation and the issue of sustainable development are discussed against this reality. The paper puts forward a number of suggestions for the adoption of tourism policies which integrate economic, environmental and cultural advancement.