Private engagement has always been central to biodiversity conservation. Recently, the role of private enterprises in (eco)tourism have increased, and private lands play a pivotal role in expanding protected areas within societies throughout the world. This paper contributes to discussions of private engagement in conservation and its relation to tourism (recreation generally), with novel insight on how the conservation-tourism nexus on private land is approached in different geographical contexts. We present a systematic literature review that results in five thematic clusters characterized by different conservation approaches to tourism in Global North and South. Research concerning Global South tends to emphasize (eco)tourism as a main inducement for conservation, while research concerning Global North emphasizes expansion of private protected areas where access for tourist-recreational use has to be compensated. We propose a future research agenda to exploring environmentally and socially just approaches to conservation and recreation in both Global North and South.