Tonga rejected as location for next two US Survivor seasons; the show may return to Fiji

Survivor won’t film seasons 23 and 24 in Tonga, although it was considering doing so, and could now return to Fiji. A year ago, a report said the Philippines was a likely location for seasons 23 and 24.

The AAP reports that “in a letter to Tonga’s prime minister, Lord Tu’ivakano, Survivor co-producer Leisa Francis said they had not been able to secure accommodation and other services needed.” The report says Tonga’s “government had offered tax incentives and concessions to encourage the producers, and had even set up legislation to meet their special requirements,” but producers “had difficulty getting cooperation from local operators when it came to booking the 25,000 room nights needed.”

The production was expected to spend $6 million in the country. Its director of tourism, Sakopo Lolohea, called it a “tragedy” and said, “This is not a problem with Survivor, it’s a problem with our own people not understanding the huge national benefit of making this happen.”

The paper reports that “He believed producers would shift the show to neighbouring Fiji,” where the show filmed its 14th season. But The Fiji Times reports that “the Fiji Audio Visual Commission says there has been nothing confirmed,” although “the commission had maintained contact with them since the show shot a season here in 2007.”

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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.