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Destination New Zealand no.1 on US prime-time TV

New Zealand's stunningly beautiful landscapes and adrenaline pumping activities were again broadcast across US prime-time TV as the New Zealand episode of The Amazing Race hit no.1 on major American broadcast channel CBS last night - reaching 9.2 million US viewers.

Filmed in New Zealand in November 2012, The Amazing Race was secured through Tourism New Zealand's International Media Programme.

The episode aired on Sunday 3 March in the US, (NZ Monday 4 March), and was no.1 for its time slot on US television, topping the nights broadcast competition in adults 18-49.

The Amazing Race is in its 22nd season, and recent episodes have attracted more than 10 million viewers across the US.

The show is also aired in several other countries.

"Tourism New Zealand supports relevant broadcast productions, including reality TV shows such as The Amazing Race, in order to gain compelling, high-profile media coverage to motivate our target markets to travel to New Zealand," says Gregg Anderson, General Manager Western Long Haul Markets.

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"The timing of this going to air couldn't be better, as we work to leverage the increased interest in New Zealand that we are seeing in the US as a result of the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign work."

It is the fourth time New Zealand has featured in the major reality TV show.

Filming took place in Mid-Canterbury, where Kiwi host of the show Phil Keoghan was born and raised. Competitors took part in a range of activities profiling the variety of unique experiences available amidst the expansive landscape of the region. These included camping, jet boating on the Rakaia river, quad biking through streams, piloting rally cars and enjoying the luxury of Terrace Downs Resort which doubled as a pit-stop.

The activity was supported by Christchurch Canterbury Tourism along with Experience Mid-Canterbury. Many tourism operators also assisted during filming including Discovery Jet, Terrace Downs Resort, Mt Hutt Helicopters, Fish and Game New Zealand and On Yer Bikes from the West Coast.

"We work with local Regional Tourism Operators on all IMP activity to promote the region and local tourism products wherever possible.

"This ensures we maximise the benefit and exposure of New Zealand - and increase preference with potential holiday visitors to travel here to experience it for themselves."
Tim Hunter, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Chief Executive says; "Canterbury offers the perfect adventure environment for The Amazing Race.

"We are delighted with the outstanding audience reach that this opportunity provides in the high value US market."