Marketing New Zealand through films and the Hobbit trilogy

Tourism New Zealand's marketing strategy is focused on converting the international attention New Zealand will draw from starring in the Hobbit trilogy, into travel.

Our campaign work will demonstrate how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand, see Middle-earth firsthand and experience all the country has to offer.

The Hobbit trilogy will put New Zealand and its stunning landscapes centre stage for movie lovers world-wide. Above - the Hobbiton movie set

Association with films such as The Hobbit movies also offers New Zealand a wider opportunity to enhance its international profile as an innovative and creative nation, and as a great place to make films and do business.

A number of government agencies are working together to build a complete story covering the tourism, film, and business sectors, and leverage the attention that New Zealand is receiving by "starring" in the films.

Read more about the campaign 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand.

Impact on tourism

Research completed by the New Zealand Institue of Economic Research has found that the marketing of New Zealand as Middle-earth has had a significant and quantifiable impact on growth in visitor arrivals from Western markets. Read more here.

  • International Visitor Arrivals data for year ending February 2014 show holiday arrivals into New Zealand are up 10.6 per cent on last year.
  • Holiday arrivals from the United States, a key target market for the Middle-earth campaign, are up 16.2 per cent on the same period last year. See "100% Middle-earth drives visitor growth'.
  • The International Visitor Survey shows that 12 per cent of all international visitors surveyed October-December 2013, say The Hobbit was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand as a destination. That figure rises to 14 per cent when just holiday arrivals are considered.
  • 13 per cent of international visitors over January to September 2013 took in a Hobbit experience while in New Zealand, including group tours specifically visiting film sites or visiting Hobbiton.
  • Read more about the success of Hobbiton

The Lord of the Rings

Anecdotal feedback from many overseas markets about the success of the Lord of the Rings movies also suggests that they made a significant contribution to raising New Zealand's profile in several of our key markets.

  • The International Visitor Survey from 2004, completed following the release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, found that six percent of visitors to New Zealand (around 120,000 - 150,000 people) cite The Lord of the Rings as being one of the main reasons for visiting New Zealand.
  • One per cent of visitors said that the Lord of the Rings was their main or only reason for visiting. This one per cent related to approximately NZ$32.8m in spend.
  • In 2004, 63,200 visitors participated in a Lord of the Rings activity while here.
  • Since 2004, an average 47,000 visitors each year have visited a film location.