Communities surrounding protected areas (PAs) in developing countries bear disproportionate costs of nature conservation, challenging PA managers to apply participatory approaches, deliver benefits and provide alternative livelihoods. This analysis explores in-depth the roles that nature-based tourism can play in this context. Revenues from visitors to Jozani-Chwaka Bay National Park (NP) in Zanzibar are shared equally between regional government and local communities, enabling PA operations, and providing both individual and collective benefits to residents of the larger UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (BR) surrounding the NP. Findings indicate that the structures and processes qualify as good governance. Locals identified many tangible and intangible benefits from the PA to their communities, ranging from direct employment, social capital development to ecosystem services. Nature conservation, mainly through shared tourism revenues, contributes to all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in multiple ways. Benefit sharing mitigated land use conflicts, increased residents' acceptance of nature conservation and reduced pressures on ecosystems. The study demonstrates the complexity of revenue sharing arrangements necessary for success, and how to harness sustainable tourism, providing benefits beyond the generation of revenues in which community involvement and the institutional interplay between NP and BR governing stakeholders are key factors.