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Hobbit film set to boost New Zealand tourism

With The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey set to hit cinemas in the run-up to Christmas, New Zealand is gearing up for a tourism boom.

The other land down under has been used once again by director Peter Jackson for The Hobbit film trilogy, more than ten years after the first Lord of the Rings films first wowed audiences around the world.

Jackson directed the first Lord of the Rings trilogy and used his native New Zealand to create Middle-earth, and has used the beautiful country again this time around. The first trilogy sent visitor numbers to New Zealand soaring, as tourists went in search of locations from the epic films.

So the country is counting on a similar response this time around, and is pulling out all the stops to bring as many tourists to the country as possible. The world premiere of the first film in the trilogy is being held in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, on 28 November – turning the attention of the world’s media to the country. In anticipation of the event, a giant clock has been erected in the city. Bearing an image of Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, the clock is counting down to the big day.

The procession for the world premiere of The Return of the King, the final instalment of the first trilogy, attracted crowds of around 120,000 – and Wellington is bracing itself for similar scenes this time around. Speaking about the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Celia Wade-Brown, Wellington’s mayor, said: “It will be a real carnival atmosphere.”

In an attempt to capitalise further on the film’s sure-fire success, New Zealand’s tourism slogan has been changed from ‘100% New Zealand’ to ‘100% Middle-earth’. If you are planning a trip abroad in the near future, to New Zealand or anywhere else, remember to take out travel insurance before you leave.

Date Created: 16 October 2012

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