The picturesque scenery of New Zealand featured in “The Hobbit” last year is credited for a spike in the number of international visitors to the country early this year.
The latest figures released by New Zealand’s tourism office show that director Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” is doing again for his native country what “The Lord of the Rings” series did for it when that trilogy hit theaters in 2001-2003.
Between January and April this year, the number of international visitors increased 10 percent compared to the same period last year. Survey results also show that about nine percent of visitors cited “The Hobbit” as a reason for their visit, while 13 percent participated in a Hobbit-themed tourist activity.
The film showcases 40 picturesque and largely untouched locations across the country, some of which visitors can visit.
In addition to the actual film set of Hobbiton, fans of the movie can also canoe down the same river where the ‘dwarves in barrels’ scene was shot.
Nearly half of all visitors surveyed cited the country’s wild landscapes and scenery as the biggest motivational reason for their visit.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand capitalized on the buzz and popularity surrounding “The Hobbit” last year to create an in-flight safety video featuring Orcs, wizards, and hobbits and a cameo by the director himself.
The next installment of the trilogy is due to be released December 2013.