Outlines how Clem Tisdell came to discover tourism economics and charts the basic route that he followed in developing that interest. This article is developed by first considering his early years (1939 to 1960), that is the period prior to his commencement of postgraduate studies at the Australian National University, then his postgraduate studies at the Australian National University (1961-1963), and his lecturing appointment at this university in the period 1964-1972. It was towards the end of this period that his research interests started to change significantly and provided a springboard for his later focus on tourism economics and the environment. It was during his appointment as Professor of Economics at the University of Newcastle (1972-1989) that his interest in tourism economics ‘took-off’ and gathered momentum thanks initially to a research grant from the ASEAN-Australian Joint Research Project in 1982. His interest in this subject continued strongly after he joined The University of Queensland in 1989 and benefited from several research grants, including some from the CRC for Sustainable Tourism. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in this university in 2005 and continues to pursue his interest in tourism economics. Tisdell explains why he has found this interest to be exciting and of value.