Research in the Isle of Man, British Isles, reveals limited and dysfunctional collaboration between stakeholders, and in particular between public and private sector actors. Power and influence over tourism decision-making is generally felt to be restricted to a small and opaque network. Moreover, different levels of interest in and support for tourism further divide stakeholders. Various negative consequences are shown to arise from this absence of collaboration, including a lack of shared vision or future strategy for local tourism, and high levels of mutual mistrust between stakeholders. Resulting conflict, wasted resources, lost enthusiasm and lack of strategic direction appear to undermine the current and future management of island tourism. Emphasised by research is the importance of stakeholder collaboration to sustainable tourism management and underlying factors which may enhance or undermine. Focus on describing dysfunctional collaboration within an untypical small island setting makes a unique contribution to the existing literature.