Tourism New Zealand’s Director of PR, Trade and Major Events René de Monchy says one in three international tourists, about 437,000 people have some kind of Middle-earth experience here and nearly one in five claim the Hobbit is a factor in choosing to visit New Zealand.
The figures were released in the latest International Visitor Survey findings from MBIE for the year to September 2016.
“The country’s leveraging of its connection to Middle-earth, led by Tourism New Zealand, has changed the face of New Zealand tourism and has paved the way for film tourism being a powerful drawcard for international visitors, says René.
“Tourism New Zealand’s work was designed to demonstrate how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand, experience Middle-earth’s stunning landscapes and unique activities. Tourism is now our biggest export earner and Middle-earth continues to plays a very significant role in attracting overseas visitors here. It is a huge achievement to get to the 15 year milestone and see that interest is as strong as ever,” he said.
Sir Peter Jackson says that since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 15 years ago nothing has changed- New Zealand is and will always be the real Middle-earth.
“New Zealand has such a variety of landscapes from lush green forests, to soaring mountains. The grandeur of these landscapes saw tourists flock to our shores, and made a huge impact on the tourism industry.
New Zealand is the perfect Middle-earth and a real place that visitors can experience for years and years to come.” Jackson said.
To celebrate the 15 year milestone, Tourism New Zealand has developed Middle-earth travel, an online quiz that lets consumers see which character they are most aligned to: a Dwarf, Elf, Wizard or a Hobbit. They are then provided with a character-inspired itinerary for their journey through New Zealand. The quiz and itineraries are housed on tourism New Zealand’s website, newzealand.com.
Tourism New Zealand has also produced a 15 year anniversary video highlighting some major milestones along the Middle-earth journey.
Find out which character you would travel through the real Middle-earth as:
Take the Quiz:
What to Pack
15 YEARS Video https://youtu.be/nv8PTDGCaeU