Survivor Nicaragua starts filming, will spend $6+ million in Nicaragua

Survivor Nicaragua started production last week, as press members were there for the first three days of filming, as usual, returning to the US just as Big Brother had its media day Friday for fan sites and whoever else would subject themselves to being locked inside for a day.

The show is filming seasons 21 and 22 back to back in San Juan del Sur, and the Tico Times reported that over the six month period that the production is there, “the 250-member crew of Survivor will inject more than $6 million into the local San Juan economy over the next six months, contracting some 200 locals and renting the equivalent of 20,000 hotel room nights in this small town.”

That impact is significant, but the promotional impact is even greater. “We don’t have the resources to even pay one TV ad that would reach that kind of audience,” Javier Chamorro, the executive director of ProNicaragua, told the paper.

The article erroneously says filming starts July 15, but it actually started last week. Perhaps that’s some misdirection on the part of producers, who actually talked to the newspaper, which is highly unusual. Last season, after all, the government of Samoa asked journalists to not report on Survivor. Executive producer Leisa Francis told the paper that “Survivor is a unique opportunity for a host nation to reach out to the world. … The promotional value is extraordinary.”

And challenge producer John Kirhoffer said, “For the 11 years I’ve been doing Survivor, I have never been as excited about spending six months in any other country. And San Juan del Sur is on the top of my list of favorite places in the world to be. I love great cigars, rum and beautiful people, so I’m not leaving.”

Survivor Puts Nicaragua on Prime Time TV [Tico Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.