I have just listened to an interview with the CEO of New Zealand Tourism on Australia’s ABC Radio on the subject of the impact of the Lord of the Rings on NZ. The interview, conducted via telephone, went for about ten minutes and the interviewee (I’m sorry, his name eludes me presently) spoke quite frankly about how NZ fully intends to cash-in on the phenomenon stating that it was a unique opportunity for them.
“If NZ could do half as well as Australia did from the Crocodile Dundee franchise,” he said, “they would be extremely happy.” And reports so far, particularly from Europe, show that people are already keen to visit their country having only seen snippets of the movie(s).
He also spoke briefly about the Premiere tonight in Wellington, saying that the city was going Middle-earth mad. There was a buzz around the city and that many of the place/product names had been changed for the occasion, including streets and a major newspaper.