Tourism hopes on Hobbit

May 19th, 2012 at 9:42 am by David Farrar

Alan Wood at Stuff reports:

Shudderomg, broken buildings, bloodied, terrified people, swarms of orange-jacketed rescuers probing huge piles of concrete for signs of life, these were the images of February 22’s earthquake that beamed around the world last year.

And after every major aftershock in the past year there have been more pictures of destruction.

Little wonder that international tourists are giving the region and the South Island a wide berth. How does an industry recover when its lifeblood, international tourists, has shrunk massively? …

Rotorua’s Kay Clarke says her central North Island clients, a range of operators, have certainly been hurt.

Her Stay and Play NZ Tourism Connections business has 46 clients in businesses ranging from accommodation, lake cruising to fly fishing adventures, with many reporting traveller numbers have dropped off.

Her team helped to market and promote these clients to Australia, Europe, the Americas and Asia, putting them in touch with wholesale buyers in these markets who bring tourists direct to the operators.

Clarke says the Canterbury earthquakes have “absolutely” impacted her clients in several ways. For some it’s having to change itineraries on tours. For others it is much more.

The perception that the whole of New Zealand was damaged is a real issue.

“Some of that is ongoing. Even when there is a little shake, sometimes the international media are showing old footage.

“We’re hearing even from some of the people at Trenz that it’s still impacting on their businesses. It therefore impacts on ours.”

The industry is made up of hundreds of small businesses. Some were noticeably downbeat at the Trenz tourism industry conference in Queenstown last week but they are looking for a silver lining to their troubles.

Tourism is one of our best ways to earn money, as it brings money directly into New Zealand. So what is the silver bullet?

All around the conference centre were billboards of the upcoming Hobbit films, one to be released at the end of this year and the second 12 months later.

This is the great hope of the industry – hope that it will set off a pilgrimage of tourists to New Zealand and showcase the glorious scenery and leisure and adventure options this small country can offer, just as the Lord of the Rings films did 12 years ago.

Just as well then that the Australian union did not succeed in killing off , supported by haters in Labour. Everytime someone in Labour spits bile at the name Warners, consider what would have happened if they had won.

At the moment, New Zealand’s tourism industry is worth $9.7 billion in foreign spending a year, it keeps nearly 180,000 people in jobs and makes an 8.6 per cent contribution to gross domestic product.

I say keeping an Australian happy is more important than that.

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12 Responses to “Tourism hopes on Hobbit”

  1. wreck1080 (3,912 comments) says:

    Aussies just slapped a departure tax , costs $550 just to think about leaving aussie now (for a family of 4).

    UK departure taxes are horrendous, I think it is costing them close to $1000 for a family of 4 to leave the UK.

    Movies do wonders for tourism , but, excessive departure taxes are not going to help.

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  2. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    FFS give it a rest Mr Farrar. The Hobbit movie was never going to be taken away from NZ. There was absolutely no chance of that happening, ever. Zilch, nada, diddly-squat. Comprendo? Sir Peter and Warners played us like a deck of cards. Admit it, and stop being such a tool.

    [DPF: I enjoy your ability to make things up. You seem to have forgotten the international boycott organised by the australian union, which meant no international actors could take part until it was lifted]

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Yeah, sure the union was going to stop actors coming here.

    [DPF: Umm do you live in the real world. They did it. They got a boycott. Actors said they would not come here until it was lifted]

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  4. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Yeah, sure the union *wasn’t* going to stop actors coming here.

    Bit of a typo there mate.

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  5. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Wreck

    I think that that’s A$550 = NZ$720.

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  6. V (719 comments) says:

    Tourism is one of our best ways to earn money.
    On a revenue per employee basis tourism is quite a poor earner.

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  7. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I’m not sure that The Hobbit will be the silver bullet you’re making it out to be. It might increase tourism for a little while but I doubt it’ll even be close to the RWC.

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  8. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    [DPF: I enjoy your ability to make things up. You seem to have forgotten the international boycott organised by the australian union, which meant no international actors could take part until it was lifted]

    [DPF: I enjoy your ability to make things up. You seem to have forgotten the international boycott organised by the australian union, which meant no international actors could take part until it was lifted]

    You are confusing two distinctly separate issues.

    Issue 1: Was the movie always going to be made here? The evidence is clear that the answer was always yes.

    Issue 2: Tactics of industrial action, union/worker negotiations, as normal as white Kiwis wanting to keep oppressing their Maori brethren.

    Peter Jackson levered his influence with government to rort the process to suit his personal animosity to certain employment rights.

    supported by the hobbit haters in Labour.

    Are these the same Hobbit haters who sprung a 300 million dollar tax break for the first Hobbit movie?

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  9. OneTrack (3,092 comments) says:

    I think we got damn close to losing the Hobbit. The way I read it was that Peter Jackson himself was getting tired of arguing the case in favour, with all the union problems, and was pretty close to giving up. In other words, the easiest path was getting close to being moving the production to Europe.

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  10. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    The second blockquote was meant to be:

    [DPF: Umm do you live in the real world. They did it. They got a boycott. Actors said they would not come here until it was lifted]

    A hazard of keeping one eye on TV.

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  11. Feanor (38 comments) says:

    Don’t worry about formatting, your whole post is bullshit.

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  12. Feanor (38 comments) says:

    A good summary of how badly the Australian union played their hand.

    http://thehobbitmovieblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/hobbit-actor-boycott-post-mortem.html

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