Fast facts

Last Updated on: 10 April 2013

Below are some interesting and quirky facts about Middle-earth tourism and movie making in New Zealand.

Hobbit movie making

• 99 sets built
• 6750 domestic flights taken
• 19 commercial properties leased long term
• 93,000 hotel bed nights sold
• 1800 rental cars hired
• 1650 work vehicles  used           
• $380,000  spent on coffee
• $9,180,000 spent on set construction materials (with local suppliers)
• Approximately 16,000 days worked by New Zealand actors
• $1,450,000 spent with local food suppliers

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures

The legacy of the Lord of the Rings

In 2004
• 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
• 63,200 visitors participated in a Lord of the Rings activity while here.
• 9,988 international tourists did a group tour for LOTRs fans
• 20,251 international tourists did an organised tour that included a LOTR site
• 29,233 international tourists visited a LOTR site independently

Since 2004, an average 47,000 international visitors each year have visited a film location.

Source: International Visitor Survey

Visitor interest: Hobbiton and Matamata

Since November 2012, there has been unprecedented numbers of people through the Matamata i-SITE - too many count.

During New Zealand's peak visitor period around Christmas and New Zealand, an estimated 750-800 people were arriving each day.

Since 1 April, 2012 Hobbiton has welcomed 80,000 visitors with 10,000 visitors during the peak week between Christmas 2012 and New Year 2013.

The movie set has now had more than 300,000 visitors since opening in 2002 and are expecting 100,000 visitors for the year ending 31 March 2013.

Visitor numbers through the Matamata i-SITE
• Calendar Yr 2000: 51,053
• Calendar Yr 2004: 367,135
• Calendar Yr 2011: 229,425

Source: Matamata i-SITE and Hobbiton, February 2013

The New Zealand screen sector

• New Zealand's total screen industry revenue rose 10 percent in 2012 to reach $3.29 billion, a $300 million increase
• Production and post-production work is the creative part of the screen industry; in which films, television programmes and commercials are made. Income from production and post-production made up more than half of this total, at $1.67 billion
• Feature film revenue rose 47 percent to just over $1 billion, making up almost a third of all production and post-production revenue
• In 2012, total international revenue rose 17 percent, to $517 million
• North America contributes around 90% of all international screen revenue in NZ
• The industry supports 2,805 businesses almost all in production and post-production
• Screen industry business reported 110 international co-productions completed in 2012
• The New Zealand screen industry contributes $780 million in wages and salaries
• International coproduction partners in 2012 included: North America 12, UK 3, Asia 6, Australia 12
• Employment figures released in December 2012 showed that New Zealand Screen Industry Businesses directly employed more than 15,000 people in more than 23,000 screen industry jobs
• Work was completed on 40 feature films (up from 35 in 2011)
• There were 1300 television series and 520 one off programmes

Source: Statistics New Zealand Screen Industry Survey 2012