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New Zealand Looks to the Hobbit for Economic Help

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy boosted New Zealand’s economy by over $580 million, now the country is hoping that The Hobbit can do the same.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy boosted New Zealand’s economy by over $580 million, now the country is hoping that The Hobbit can do the same.

New Zealand is suffering from economic problems that didn’t exist when The Lord of the Rings was released 11 years ago. 

The currency has doubled in value which means that exports are reduced and tourists are deterred. At the same time Christchurch, the third biggest city, is being rebuilt after being ruined by two devastating earthquakes.

New Zealand’s government is hoping that the Hobbit films will reverse the drop in tourist spending and reinvigorate the country’s film industry.

Tourism is the nation’s second largest source of income and contributed 17% of all exports in the year to March 2011.

Gary Tate a hotelier in South Island said that hopefully after seeing the film people “will forget a little bit about the value of the currency and everything else, and still come.”

Statistics New Zealand said that visitor numbers from strong markets are falling, the UK is down 10% form a year ago and the US by 4%.

However, if the Hobbit has the same effect as the previous trilogy then visitor numbers should soon pick up again.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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