Connections between socio-spatial complexity in a social domain and Foucauldian discourse analysis gain momentum in the wider social sciences, but have been marginalized in leisure and tourism research. We combine, explore and expand theories of socio-spatial complexity with leisure-led regional development and Foucauldian discourse analysis, for the first time in tourism studies. Based on interviews with 37 local leisure and tourism stakeholders in the Dutch province of Fryslân, we analyze how discourses condition leisure development. Through Foucauldian analysis we uncover powerful discourses behind interactions that drive socio-spatial complexity. Values and meanings in these discourses condition a region's tourism and leisure development. Established discourses structure which tourism and leisure developments are pursued, and shifts in these discourses trigger structural societal changes.