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This article, Charting the Course for Sustainable Small Island Tourist Development, addresses sustainability criteria for small island tourist development drawing on the history of development in the last decade in the Bocas del Toro archipelago of the Republic of Panama in the Caribbean Sea near the border of Costa Rica. Tax deferments for the development of vacation and resort properties spurred a boom in this island locale since the late 1980’s. Tourist Law 8 of the Panamanian constitution is referenced. Sustainability criteria of water supply and availability are suggested and outer island projects are discussed. Lessons are outlined and recommendations are made for permit qualifications that promote sustainable small island tourist development.