Making the most of Middle earth

By Brierley Penn

Tourism New Zealand is leveraging the global profile of The Hobbit by promoting the Middle-earth fantasy as an attainable experience to prospective Chinese tourists.

“New Zealand features on the bucket lists of many international travellers,” says TourismNZ chief executive Kevin Bowler.

“The key is providing them with an incentive to actually make the trip, and the Middle-earth campaign provides an opportunity to do just that.”

Bowler explains large-scale events such as the 2011 Rugby World Cup can act as both a drawcard and deterrent for tourists. As these one-off feature events tend to come with astronomical prices, travellers are forced to trade off their enjoyment with the reality of tightened purse-strings. The relative cheapness of attractions associated with The Hobbit means Chinese tourists can experience New Zealand without being expected – more


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