The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – New Zealand movie set to get 200,000 visitors this year

Peter Jackson’s commitment sees visitors numbers to New Zealand up by 10 per cent, says tourism board

The second instalment of the hobbit movie was released today, and Tourism New Zealand cannot wait for the after effect of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – as visitor numbers were up 10 per cent after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.


“The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Films have made a significant impact on New Zealand’s tourism in terms of global awareness and our visitor arrivals,” explained Danielle Genty-Nott, Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager for the UK and Europe. “From January to September this year alone, globally we’re up just over 10 per cent.”

The Hobbiton movie-set, near Matamata, complete with rolling hills and The Shire, is a big pull for visitors. “In 2013-2014 The Hobbit movie set expects over 200,000 visitors,” said Genty-Nott.

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But it’s Queenstown and Tongariro National Park that have benefited most from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, explained Rachel Sprackett, Tourism New Zealand’s acting PR manager for UK and Europe. “Queenstown does well because it has the very dramatic view, and also the Tongariro National Park in the Waikato region,” which is home to the more sinister scenes in The Lord of the Rings films.

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Genty-Nott adds: “The landscapes that movie-watchers see on the big screen really do exist. You can go and cycle, walk, horse ride, helicopter over, ski down and swim through them.”

British holidaymakers spend about 29 days on average in New Zealand and, as a group, are some of the highest spending visitors globally.

The 2003 Tom Cruise movie Last Samurai, plus Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed dramas The Piano and Top of the Lake, were also shot in New Zealand.

Watch New Zealand in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in UK cinemas from today.

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