First published in Tourism Business June - July 2012
The release of the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The
Hobbit: There and Back Again will once again put New Zealand and
its stunning landscapes centre stage for movie lovers
The world's eyes will be on us and we have a 24-month window of
opportunity to use the international attention drawn from the
movies to elevate the promotion of New Zealand and convert fans
To do this, Tourism New Zealand will use the concept 100%
Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand to underpin our campaign
work. In doing so we will increase the reach of our activity
ensuring it is seen by millions we would not normally reach.
Through this concept we will bring the fantasy of the movies to
life - showing how easily the fantasy of The Hobbit movies can
become reality in the form of a New Zealand holiday.
If you were present at TRENZ you will have seen some of the ways
we will roll this out. 'Take an unexpected journey through the real
middle earth' shows how we will leverage awareness of Middle-earth
locations with real places in New Zealand, highlighting the
activities available at each location.
And we have an amazing base to work off.
The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy elevated awareness of New
Zealand's stunning landscapes and as a place that delivers a vast
range of activities to enjoy.
Since 2004, an average of 47,000 international visitors visit a
scene or location from the LOTR films each year. The Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment's International Visitor Survey
in 2004 showed that 85 per cent of visitors were aware that the
LOTR trilogy was filmed here and one per cent cited the films as
the main reason for their visit, equating to $33 million in tourism
Of our target market, 48% are aware that New Zealand is the
location of the Hobbit films and 31% are fans of the book.
This awareness will enable us to leverage the tourism message
further. Our activity will continue to build international
awareness of the country's scenery, as well as reinforcing that it
is a place you can have amazing experiences and meet friendly,
Over the next two years you will continue to see our campaign work
incorporate these messages, connecting the landscapes of
Middle-earth with the experiences of New Zealand.
New Zealand's association with The Hobbit movies also presents 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 a 'New Zealand story' covering the
tourism, film, and business sectors.
We continue to work closely with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line
Cinema, MGM, and Sir Peter Jackson's Wingnut Films to maximise the
opportunities offered by global interest in the films and will keep
you updated with developments.