Abstract: This study seeks to provide insights into the extent of community involvement and participation in the tourism development trajectory within the urban community of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Face-to-face questionnaire surveys were administered to 384 adult members representing each household. The study revealed that communities were not adequately involved in terms of planning, decision making and participation in the development of tourism generally. Communities also perceive the benefits brought about by tourism to be confined to business and government officials as opposed to it being leveraged to the entire community. Communities acknowledge the potential of tourism to accrue benefits to them and express strong willingness to be involved in future development agendas. The paper advocates the need for a concerted effort to capacitate, educate and involve individuals and stakeholder groups in the efforts to remodel the tourism economy in Zimbabwe for long-term sustainability by adopting an innovative community based tourism approach.