Massive Month for Media Website: Middle-earth content highly sought after

Tourism New Zealand's international media website recorded its biggest ever month of visits in November with 72,000 visitors seeking news stories about tourism in New Zealand.

The result coincides with the global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), which was hosted in Wellington and drew significant international attention.

The role of the website is to make it easy for anyone wanting to publish content about New Zealand to do so, by providing news-worthy content, and links to free images and broadcast footage produced by staff familiar with media requirements.

November 2012 was the second biggest month ever for page views (110,547) bumping October 2012 to third place (90,304 page views) and sitting just behind the number one month of September 2011 (113,839 page views) when the Rugby World Cup 2011 was being played in the country.

Tourism New Zealand's General Manager Brand and International Public Relations Catherine Bates says that many media publishing about New Zealand want easy access to factual, news-worthy information and resources.

"The international media website provides those things and promotes the many amazing destinations that make up New Zealand. It is used by hundreds of media every year.

"Since its launch, our Maori culture content has consistently been the piece that receives the most page views. In November however, that was surpassed by Middle-earth content."

Significant time and energy was invested in the international media website in advance of the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in New Zealand.

The "Middle-earth hub" hosts 36 features/backgrounders and 37 media releases - all providing additional news-worthy New Zealand tourism content, free for use.

The latest update to the site is a feature on New Zealand locations for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Even more material has been developed on New Zealand's screen industry to support media who want to tell a wider business story.

The week of the premiere saw around 100 international media in Wellington who were all provided access to New Zealand broadcast footage, imagery and news stories by Tourism New Zealand.