The new Hobbit magic draws fans to New Zealand

Hobbit appeal has surged since the film’s worldwide release, and with that travel websites are reporting huge growth in searches and bookings for New Zealand, Fairfax News reports.

Tourism chief executive David Perks said he had noted a growth in interest in New Zealand as a travel destination in Britain, “and a much more positive vibe about bookings” since September.

The international media coverage of Wellington’s hosting of the premiere had clearly increased the city’s global profile, and this was expected to lead to a surge in bookings.

“We were really pleased how much coverage we achieved. We knew from when Wellington hosted the last Lord of the Rings premiere The Return of the King in 2003 that coverage meant a significant surge in bookings, but we weren’t sure how different global financial conditions would affect that,” Perks said.

– Murray Burt

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