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Blockbuster films fuel interest in NZ holidays

28 October 2016 09:47

New Zealand is famed for its scenery

New Zealand is famed for its scenery

The success of the Hobbit fantasy film trilogy is fuelling tourism interest in New Zealand, new research suggests.

Data shows that tourism has overtaken dairy produce as the nation's top overseas earner.

Over the 12 months to the end of September, a record 3.4 million people are said to have visited New Zealand. While many Britons have explored the country's dramatic scenery in recent months, it is particularly popular with those from Australia, China and the US.

A new study from Statistics New Zealand shows that spending by international tourists was also 20% higher during the year ending in March, in annual terms.

Along with spectacular landscapes, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler also flagged up the outdoor lifestyle offered by the country.

On the back of the Hobbit films, he said: " The result was a heck of a lot of interest in New Zealand."

Travel insurance

Whether heading to New Zealand or elsewhere in the world, holidaymakers are encouraged to consider the benefits of travel insurance.

This can cover things like medical costs, should they fall ill, and flight delays.

Popular films

One survey of tourists suggests that 16% of visitors have chosen to head to New Zealand partially on the back of the Hobbit films.

The Hobbit films came on the back of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which was also directed by acclaimed film-maker Peter Jackson. Almost six billion dollars were earned by the six films.

According to Mr Bowler, planned increases in flights from the US and growing Asian economies offer encouraging news for the future.

In order to meet growing demand, he said efforts will need to be made to ensure there is enough accommodation.

New Zealand received a further tourism boost earlier this week, with the Lonely Planet guidebooks naming its Taranaki region as a top place to visit in the coming year. The publisher noted that the region boasts an offbeat gallery dedicated to the artist Len Lye.

In contrast to its booming tourism industry, there is less positive news within New Zealand's dairy products sector. Statistics show that the nation's income from dairy products has fallen by 22% over the past two years.