27 Dec 2013

Hobbit gets tourism credit

5:49 am on 27 December 2013

The New Zealand tourism industry is bouncing back, with the biggest annual increase in visitor arrivals since 2004.

Hobbit movies helped tourism.

Hobbit movies helped tourism. Photo: WARNER BROS

More than 2.7 million people are forecast to visit the country by the year's end, an increase of almost 10% on last year.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says that is due to the British and American visitors coming back after the recession, and the emerging Chinese tourist market.

Mr Bowler also attributes much of the success to the Hobbit movies.

He says the state tourism agency is still keen to expand into other markets and Brazilian, Indonesian and Indian markets will be key targets in 2014.