Tourism New Zealand plans to capitalise on Tolkien tourism.
Tourism New Zealand is spending an extra $5 million to
capitalise on Tolkien tourism.
Not only had Sir Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings
movies and the first two The Hobbit films - based on
books by celebrated English author J. R. R. Tolkien - grossed
an estimated $US1.6 billion at the box office worldwide,
Tourism New Zealand's chief executive Kevin Bowler said they
were influencing people's decision to visit the country.
To take advantage of the December release of The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies, $4 million to $5 million
of the country's $113 million promotional budget will be
spent trying to entice tourists from the United States,
Germany and the United Kingdom, he said.
''At one point our research said that last summer as many as
20% of US and German visitors said that the Middle-earth
movies had an impact on their choice of New Zealand - and in
the most recent data the average was 14%,'' he told the
Otago Daily Times yesterday.
''It's pretty high when you think about 28 million
Tourists from the US, UK and Germany tended to be higher
spending, on average, than those from many other markets.
In the year to the end of March, international visitors to
New Zealand were up 6%, to 2.79 million people, and visitor
spending was up 9%.
So, more people are coming and they are generally spending
Addressing a group of tourist operators in Queenstown
yesterday, the tourism body's director of trade, PR and major
events, Justin Watson, said New Zealand was co-hosting the
Cricket World Cup next year and the Fifa under-20 football
But by far the biggest event in the next 12 months was the
third The Hobbit movie, he said.
''We've got this unique opportunity out of these markets to
pump up value and grow it disproportionately.''
He said the effect of the movies is already being felt,
despite the fact many people who listed the films as an
influence had not seen them.
''If you're, in your business, seeing more Germans, more
Americans, more Brits - that's the Hobbit effect
According to Tourism New Zealand figures, about 45% of
international tourists come from Australia, while US, German
and UK visitors make up 17% of our overall international
On average, German holiday tourists stay for the longest
period while UK visitors spend the most.
The Government has set a goal of earning $41 billion from
tourism in 2025. Last year, tourism takings were $25 billion.
A way to achieve that is target high-value tourists -
preferring value over volume - such as wealthy Chinese, golf
tourists and through attracting business events, such as
conventions and incentive trips.
The cast and crew from the final instalment of The
Hobbit trilogy showed off the first trailer for the film
at the Comic-Con entertainment convention in San Diego at the
Although he would not provide details, Mr Bowler said Warner
Brothers would also make an announcement this weekend about
New Zealand's branding as ''Middle-earth''.