100% Middle-earth a winner for tourism, says Tourism New Zealand

Investment in marketing New Zealand's association with the Hobbit trilogy is paying off in increased visitor motivation and arrivals, says Tourism New Zealand's (TNZ) Chief Executive Kevin Bowler.

"Information gathered from three separate research sources is really starting to present a positive picture for the country thanks to The Hobbit Trilogy and our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign," says Kevin.

Kevin and other Tourism New Zealand executives are this week presenting the organisation's new three-year marketing strategy to industry.

Kevin says Tourism New Zealand's own Active Considerer monitor shows the impact of the campaign, first launched in August 2012, in key markets.

"We asked specific questions about the campaign in the AC monitor in seven key markets and 82 per cent of respondents state the campaign increases their interest in New Zealand, and 73 per centstate the campaign improved their opinions of New Zealand.

"In terms of actual arrivals, we know from the International Visitor Arrivals data that for January-April 2013, holiday arrivals into New Zealand are up a very pleasing 10 per cent on last year.

"Notably, holiday arrivals from the United States, a key target market for our Middle-earth campaign, are up 23 per cent on the same period last year.

"This increase in holiday arrivals over January-April perfectly coincides with the release of the first Hobbit film and a significant increase in our efforts to promote New Zealand as a holiday destination off the back of it.

"Finally, new information gathered from the International Visitor Survey shows that 8.5 per cent of all international visitors surveyed January to March this year, say The Hobbit was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand as a destination.

"We know that very rarely there is just one reason for someone to visit New Zealand - there are usually a number of factors.

"The objective of Tourism New Zealand's Middle-earth marketing is to provide additional motivation and reason to convert potential travellers' interest in New Zealand, into an actual booking - and it's working!"

The most dominant reason to consider a visit to New Zealand remains our "spectacular landscapes and scenery" which is referenced by 46.7 per cent of surveyed visitors. The Hobbit rates alongside "getting a good deal on flights" at 8.8 per cent, demonstrating the power of the connection between New Zealand and Middle Earth.

13.2 per cent of international visitors over January to March took in a Hobbit experience while in New Zealand, including group tours specifically visiting film sites or visiting Hobbiton.

Leveraging The Hobbit Trilogy continues to feature heavily in Tourism New Zealand's new three-year marketing strategy with the ongoing use of the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign with significant events being planned for the international premieres of films two and three.

Contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager Tourism New Zealand
deborah.gray@tnz.govt.nz | +64 21 624 170

Three-year marketing strategy presentations

Tourism New Zealand's executives are presenting the three-year marketing strategy to industry at the following times and venues:

Auckland, Tuesday 4 June - Rydges Hotel
Session: 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Networking 4.00pm - 5.00pm

Dunedin, Tuesday 4 June - Mercure Hotel
Session: 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Networking: 4.00pm - 5.00pm

Wellington, Wednesday 5 June - Civic Suites, Town Hall
Session: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Networking: 3.00pm - 4.00pm

Christchurch, Wednesday 5 June - Riccarton Park
Session: 11.00am - 12.00pm
Networking: 12.00pm - 1.00pm

Rotorua, Thursday 6 June - Novotel Hotel
Session: 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Networking: 3.00pm - 4.00pm

Queenstown, Thursday 6 June - Heritage Hotel
Session: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Networking: 2.00pm - 3.00pm

Media who wish to attend should contact Deborah Gray to register.

Tourism New Zealand's Active Considerer Monitor.

Active Considerers is the term Tourism New Zealand has given potential travellers already actively considering New Zealand as their next holiday destination. The AC Monitor is conducted monthly.  Questions relating to the 100% Middle-earth campaign were asked in the AC Monitor in Australia, China, the UK, the USA, Germany, Japan and Korea.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's International Visitor Survey

The International Visitor Survey (IVS) measures the travel patterns and expenditure of international visitors to New Zealand. Data includes expenditure, places visited, activities/attractions, accommodation and transport. The International Visitor Survey is a sample survey of approximately 5,200 international visitors to New Zealand aged 15 years or older per year. Reporting is quarterly.

Statistic New Zealand's International Visitor Arrivals as part of International Travel and Migration

The International Travel and Migration data series provide statistics on the number of overseas visitors, New Zealand resident travellers, and permanent and long-term migrants entering or leaving New Zealand. These statistics are based on final counts of arrivals to and departures from New Zealand.