The group was comprised of broadcast media from Tourism New Zealand's key target markets of India, China, Australia, Germany and Japan.
They were in New Zealand as part of the media build up to the 13 December, 2013, worldwide release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).
The media group was welcomed to New Zealand on Monday at an evening function at Hobbiton and became the first-ever visitors to experience "Hobbiton comes alive".
Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the objective of support is to enhance media's ability to tell the story of New Zealand, not only as a spectacular backdrop for filming, but as a fun, must-see tourism destination, an innovative and creative nation, and a great place to make films and do business.
"The media plays a key role in communicating this message to consumers. At last year's premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, we had scores of media in town and Tourism New Zealand was able to show then the uniqueness of the New Zealand visitor experience.
"The resulting media coverage from those groups was seen by millions of people all over the world.
"This year, despite no New Zealand premiere, Warner Bros. Pictures has brought a select group of high-impact broadcast media here for some unique hands-on experiences of select filming locations and behind-the-scenes access to the movie's crew.
"Our support of their programme is a continuation of our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, first launched in August 2012, and aims to connect the fantasy, movie landscapes of Middle-earth with the actual experiences of New Zealand, demonstrating how easy it is for people to come to here, see Middle-earth and experience all the country has to offer."
Whilst in New Zealand, the media group each visited one of four key filming locations from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug that correspond to the four sets portrayed on The Book of New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand's innovative walk-through, multi-media display that has been built in Los Angeles.
A sprawling installation that spans the length of two tennis courts, the Book of New Zealand brings 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand to life.
It opened at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on the evening of Saturday, 30 November 2013 (NZ Sunday, 1 December).
Scores of international media outlets are expected to visit the Book of New Zealand, generating considerable worldwide media coverage for New Zealand.
"We are taking every opportunity we get to bring 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand to life for international media, and wow them both here in New Zealand and then again in Los Angeles," Kevin says.
The media group departed New Zealand on Friday and flew straight to Los Angeles for the worldwide media programme around the 13 December, 2013 release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, by Warner Bros. Pictures and, in select territories, by MGM.
Contact Georgina Maguire, Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
firstname.lastname@example.org | phone +64 21 478 659
About the Book of New Zealand
The idea for a pop-up book of New Zealand came from the creative minds at Wybin/TBWA.
The Book of New Zealand was designed and built by The Hobbit Trilogy production designer Dan Hennah and Ra Vincent.
It will be staged at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where select publicity activities for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will take place, and can hold 225 people.
While the installation is by invitation only, fans will have a chance to browse its pages as part of a special Public Day tour set for 4 December.
Scores of worldwide media outlets are expected to visit The Book of New Zealand. It will serve as the location for:
- Official publicity activities surrounding the global release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- a NZ Inc VIP function
- a Film New Zealand partners' function
About The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The screenplay for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.com
About 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand's new three-year marketing strategy features publicity related toThe Hobbit Trilogy in conjunction with its on-going 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.
Tourism New Zealand is working to convert the international attention drawn to the film Trilogy's production in New Zealand into a campaign which demonstrates how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand, see Middle-earth first hand, and experience all the country has to offer.
Investment in marketing New Zealand's association with The Hobbit Trilogy is paying off in increased visitor motivation and arrivals.
Tourism New Zealand's own Active Considerer monitor tested the impact of the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, first launched in August 2012, in key markets. Between August and October 2012, 82 % of respondents stating the campaign increases their interest in New Zealand, and 73 % stating the campaign improved their opinions of New Zealand.
International Visitor Arrivals data for January-October 2013 show that holiday arrivals into New Zealand are up 10.5 % as of last year. Holiday arrivals from the United States, a key target market for the Middle-earth campaign, are up 19 % during the same period last year.
Information gathered from the International Visitor Survey shows that 8.5 % of all international visitors surveyed January to June this year, say The Hobbit films were a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand as a destination.
Thirteen per cent of international visitors over January to June 2013 say they took in a The Hobbit Trilogy-inspired experience while in New Zealand, including group tours specifically visiting film sites or visiting Hobbiton.