Riding the right wave: Surfing For Change documentary release

Creating positive models for surf-tourism

Surfing trips often epitomize the spirit of adventurous travel: brilliant waves, remote communities, dirt roads and serene locales. Every year surfers all over the world chase that all-elusive perfect wave. While this type of tourism can bring economic growth to a community, it can also have very damaging long-term effects.

Surfing For Change is an organization dedicated to creating free online videos aimed at inspiring surfers to have a positive impact both locally and globally. We are excited to share their latest video, “Surfing for Change: Travel Guide to Nicaragua.”

“Surfing for Change: Travel Guide to Nicaragua,” is a 14-minute short film, illustrating the role that surf tourists can play in preventing the damaging effects that surf tourism booms can have on developing communities. This fast-paced short film highlights a group of young surfers from Project Wave of Optimism (WOO), a non-profit organization, who are working with Nicaraguans to create a new model of surf-tourism.

The film is creator and host Kyle Thiermann’s sixth film in the “Surfing for Change” series. Kyle illustrates the boom and bust cycle that typically occurs when tourists flock to these communities, otherwise known as the Butler’s Curve of Tourism, which consists of massive, unplanned expansion followed by a decline in tourism and a devastated community. The film highlights the work of Project WOO, a group of surfers who recognized the need for change in surf tourism development and set out to make it happen. Project WOO is partnering with Gigante locals to create a new, sustainable surf tourism development model.

The model involves working closely with the local community to lead development that benefits the locals while also meeting the needs of tourists. This allows developing communities such as Gigante to capitalize on global tourism without sacrificing their community, culture, or environment.

We love Surfing For Change and Project WOO because they are brilliant examples of travelers linking their passion to travel with a purpose. How could you do what you love and travel2change? Create your idea today, before tomorrow’s deadline of our current challenge on Facebook.

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