Nick Towner joined NZTRI in March 2009 as a PhD student. Nick completed a Bachelor of Ecotourism Degree at Griffith Unversity, Gold Coast, then moved back home to finish up a Masters Of Environmental Management at Auckland University. Nick also contributes to the work of NZTRI as a part-time Research Assistant.
Nick's PhD study investigates the sustainable development of the surf tourism industry in the Mentawai Islands, Indonesia. Nick’s passion for surfing and interest in sustainable tourism development is a unique combination that has evolved over the past decade. Travelling to numerous surf destinations around the world has made him aware of the adverse effects surf tourism can have on local communities. Nick is focused on developing strategies through which the local community can benefit from surf tourism as well as the operators.