As multi-stakeholders in tourism development help to create tourism experience, it is therefore vital to understand each stakeholder’s perception towards tourism development. In additon, local leaders and policy makers play a critical role in facilitating the mutual benefits of all tourism stakeholders in sustainable tourism development in the local community. Most research on Social Exchange Theory (SET) in tourism only focuses on resident’s and tourist’s perceptions toward tourism, and some studies indicate the ambiguous explanation and interpretation on SET in understanding community’s perceptions toward tourists and tourism. Therefore, it is a need to understand local leaders’ and policy makers’ perceptions toward sustainable tourism development, as they act as the initiators or facilitators in sustainable tourism development. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten local leaders and policy-makers in Thailand and the results were thematically analysed. The anticipated results explain positive and negative impacts toward economy, society and environment.