Queenstown stars in 'Hobbit' promotion

Queenstown Airport and staff star in a new Hobbit themed video by Air New Zealand which has been viewed more than 1.3 million times in its first week online.

Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air NZ flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshall, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras.

It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey with the marketing message ''Middle-earth is closer than you think''.

The video also features actor Dean O'Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy's Radagast the Brown.

O'Gorman said in a statement that the video captured both the magic of The Hobbit films and the ''unique personality'' of Air New Zealand.

''It was great to be involved in this video and see so many Air New Zealand staff having a bit of fun with all the Hobbit film references.''

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is set for a New Zealand cinema release on December 12, with a worldwide release around the same date.

Tourism New Zealand figures from last year's marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82% of international survey respondents said the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand.

A total of 8.5% of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said The Hobbit trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and 1% said it was the most important factor.

• Beorn's House, filmed in Paradise and Glenorchy, near Queenstown, for The Hobbit, was one of four locations exposed to 200 media and guests when Tourism New Zealand opened ''The Book of New Zealand'' in Los Angeles on Sunday night.