British tourists jet off in droves on The Hobbit trail

The Hobbit sparks New Zealand tourism boost


The recently released final part of The Hobbit film trilogy is set to spark another season of "set-jetting" for British tourists keen to holiday in areas where movies are shot.

Following the success of the Lords of the Rings films, The Hobbit movies have proved a boom to tourism in New Zealand where all the films were made.

For the period July 2013 to June 2014, a total of 13% of all international holiday visitors to New Zealand said The Hobbit films were a factor in their choice of destination. WORDS: PA

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said: "We have seen significant growth driven by beautiful backdrops and key aspects of New Zealand in the movies.

"While it is clear that improving economies and increased airline capacity are supporting tourism growth, the Hobbit factor has raised the profile of New Zealand."

The Hobbit is the latest in a series of blockbuster movies that have boosted tourism. Other films that led to increases in British and other international visitors have included Out of Africa and A Passage to India.

In the UK, tourism chiefs have used film and TV series' locations as a lure for international tourists, with the Harry Potter films to the fore in this respect.

New Zealand's beautiful islands

New Zealand's beautiful islands

For those Britons preferring somewhere closer than New Zealand for a trip, Spain, the Portuguese Algarve, the Canary Islands, Malta and Egypt are among the most-popular winter-sun destinations, according to lowcostholidays.

Affordable winter sun holidays

Affordable winter sun holidays

Kirker Holidays has seen a rise in European twin-centre trips, such as a combination of Florence and Rome, due to good rail connections.

Another UK tour operator, Sunvil Traveller is predicting that this year's lifting of pension restrictions will lead to more over-55s taking long-haul trips.

According to DialAFlight, river cruises, particularly on the Mekong in south east Asia and on the Amazon, will see growth this year.

15 cruise deals for 2015

15 cruise deals for 2015

Travel agent Expedia said South East Asia had seen the biggest increase in demand for holidays last year and said that trend was set to continue.

It picked out South and Central America, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe as particularly popular spots for this year as well.

Online cruise guide Cruise Critic is predicting the Mediterranean will continue to be the top choice for UK cruisers.

But it adds that some of the cruise destinations to watch in 2015 include Norway, Australia and the Elbe River, as well as a resurgence of the Caribbean.

Best new flight routes launching in 2015

Best new flight routes launching in 2015

Best new hotels opening in 2015

Best new hotels opening in 2015

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