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100% Middle-earth at the official opening of Hobbiton

For immediate release
29 November 2012

100% Middle-earth to be found at the official opening of Hobbiton, the Shire

International media in town for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, were given a final taste of 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand today (29 November) before departing the country.

Tourism New Zealand and its NZ Inc partners today concluded a highly successful week of media hosting with an event at Hobbiton Movie Set and Tours, and the official opening of the Green Dragon Inn by Prime Minister John Key.

More than 100 international media who attended the Wellington World Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, were farewelled from New Zealand at the place where all the movie’s adventures began – Hobbiton.

The event also marked the end of months of work to build and prepare the Green Dragon Inn, now open to Hobbiton visitors who can enjoy a Middle-earth beer at the end of their tours.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says hosting the media at Hobbiton Movie Set and Tours was the perfect end to a hugely successful week of media activity.

“Hobbiton is the ultimate example of Tourism New Zealand’s 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.

“Anyone who thinks that Hobbiton is a fantasy land that exists only on the screen will see that it is actually a real place – not only here in Matamata, New Zealand at Hobbiton, but also throughout the country where visitors can experience for themselves a range of unique activities within those landscapes.”

General Manager of Hobbiton Movie Set and Tours Russell Alexander says he anticipated the official opening will mark the start of a new chapter for the operation with hosted tours doubling to 22 a day throughout December.

“Having the excitement of Premiere week ending with the official opening of Hobbiton will set the scene for fans eager to experience a slice of Middle-earth for themselves – and ensure Hobbiton is in the spot-light for all visitors through Matamata.”

Media at Hobbiton were treated to a true taste of New Zealand with food from top chef Martin Bosley and trophy award winning New Zealand wines from the 2012 Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

A number of international media will stay on in the country for a further tourism experience, hosted by Tourism New Zealand.

Kevin says: “We know that the stories this media group will write and broadcast will be seen and read by hundreds of millions of people, and that New Zealand is likely to feature heavily in many of them.”

Partners in the event included Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Film New Zealand, New Zealand Film Commission, Air New Zealand and Wine Growers New Zealand.


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