Gringo Trails


Pegi Vail
2013 | 79 minutes | U.S., Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, Bhutan
World Premiere | Director in Attendance

A timely documentary raises urgent questions about how we travel and the unintended cultural and environmental consequences of tourism around the globe. Gringo Trails follows well-worn travelers’ routes through Latin America and beyond to Africa and Asia. The film reveals the complex relationships between colliding cultures, such as the host countries’ need for financial security and the tourists who provide it in their quest for authentic experiences. Through the stories of both travelers and locals, and with stunning footage from Bolivia, Thailand, Mali, and Bhutan, Gringo Trails explores the dramatic impact of travel and tourism around the world over the past 30 years.

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with travel writer Rolf Potts and Costas Christ, National Geographic Editor at Large.

Co-presented by Solimar International, Asia Society, and Women Make Movies


What compelled you to see for yourself?
Gringo Trails was influenced by my own travels to over 70 countries that I've been fortunate to see for myself. And as a cultural anthropologist I’ve observed the tourist ‘tribe’ over a long period of time. Both ways of seeing shaped the film. My goal now is for audiences to see for themselves why it matters for us pay attention to tourism, one of the top global industries and a phenomenon that is dramatically impacting cultures, economies, and environments worldwide.
— Pegi Vail | Director, Gringo Trails