Along with nature reserve based tourism development, there has been an increasing recognition of the need for stakeholder collaboration. This qualitative case study explores ecotourism development in two panda reserves located in Southwestern China. It sets out to understand perspectives on collaboration held by stakeholders such as governments, nature reserve administrations, local communities, tourism businesses, and conservation non-governmental organizations. The stakeholder-described collaboration is compared to the literature reporting the “ideal” situation. The study identifies four categories of factors that were perceived, by the stakeholders, as facilitating and/or constraining collaboration: 1) socio-cultural and economic dynamics, 2) resource interdependency, 3) power relationships and organizational dynamics, and 4) initial domain consensus on ecotourism development. The findings imply that stakeholders’ understanding of collaboration is inconsistent and effective collaborative mechanisms are yet to be developed. Also, stakeholders must recognize the prominent role of the government and focus on capacity-building of stakeholder groups.