Hobbits to be New Zealand mascots

The tourism department in New Zealand is banking on Hobbits to promote the country as a tourist destination.

The department of tourism in New Zealand is zealously promoting the nation alongside the popularity of the forthcoming film versions of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, which were shot on location in the country. It has already entered into an official marketing campaign with Warner Bros and has established tourist destinations at sites where the film was shot. Now, recent comments from the head of Tourism New Zealand indicate that the nation is planning to go one step further, and promote hobbits as its tourism mascots.

The chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, Kevin Bowler, said, ‘One of our most exciting milestones will be reached in late August when the new 100 percent Pure New Zealand campaign will get its first public airing, drawing together the themes ‘100 percent Pure’ and ‘100 percent Middle Earth.’ International media attention surrounding the films has been growing over the past few months and we have already hosted a number of journalists who are writing specifically about New Zealand as the location for the films.’

The department has Hobbit-specific pages on its corporate website to satisfy Hobbit-related queries. Bowler also said that interested parties who visit www.NewZealand.com would find a section called ‘Home of Middle-earth’ that offers various experiences and products that are based on the filming of The Lord of the Rings.

The government agency is now looking to promote the new films, ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ and ‘The Hobbit: There and Back again.’

Bowler said that his department wanted to connect the landscapes of Middle-earth with the experiences of New Zealand. He said that the website, along with other of his department’s activities, would highlight how easy it was to come to New Zealand and see Middle-earth first-hand, while also enjoying other new experiences.

The new tourism programme is to be officially launched later on this month.