New Zealand tourism set to be boosted once again thanks to The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings trilogy greatly boosted New Zealand tourism, with tour operators taking advantage of the film’s huge popularity to offer tours of sites used in the successful films. Now that the team behind the films has been back in New Zealand to shoot the prequel, ‘The Hobbit’, New Zealand tourism is set to see another surge of film-related tourists heading for its shores.

A video posted on You Tube has done its best to help the cause, featuring behind-the-scene clips of the production team packing up the set and interviews with many cast members about their time in New Zealand.

Sir Ian McKellan, reprising his role as Gandalf, believes that the new film shows off the country’s spectacular scenery even more than The Lord of the Rings did and that both cast and crew loved their seven weeks on set – a change from many films he has worked on, with people eager to get back home.

In the rest of the short film, it is revealed that over 100kg of meat was needed every day to feed the hungry workers, while catering staff were called upon to have more than 300 coffees ready for the start of filming every day. Local companies, many of whom have benefited from the rise in tourism, are also making money from the film itself, with helicopter companies hiring out their aircraft to ferry cast and crew from their base to remote shooting locations.

But it isn’t all about making money; the team behind the film made sure that they protected the fragile environment in this part of the country by building huge elevated stages to keep the feet of cast and crew away from the flora and fauna on Mount Ruapehu.

New Zealand hasn’t always co-operated with its famous visitors either, and one scene had to be abandoned when the local police warned director Peter Jackson about approaching floods; just 2 hours later, the area where the scene was supposed to have been shot was under a few feet of water.