The involvement of host communities (or destination residents), particularly in developing countries, is critical to the success of tourism development and to the creation of a "Just Destination". This paper investigates host community perceptions about obstacles to their participation in tourism development in Lombok, Indonesia, providing new insights into institutional influences on tourism opportunities and issues. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques targeted separate groups of destination residents who live in a developed tourism destination, a less developed tourism destination, a remote rural village far away from tourism destinations, as well as a group of university students. Data were collected through in-depth interviews, qualitative questionnaires and observation, and were analysed using content analysis. Results show three main institutional factors inhibit host community participation in tourism: tourism agencies, private sector providers and tourism infrastructure, and perceptions of the negative impacts of tourism. The underperformance of state tourism agencies and private sector providers resulted in a lack of tourism infrastructure and limitations on host community opportunities to participate in tourism development and businesses. The findings suggest the need for improvement in the training of state tourism agency employees, better coordination among government agencies, and improved education and training for tourism operators.