George Hickton, the man behind the 100 per cent Pure campaign for tourism in New Zealand, has urged businesses to get behind The Hobbit and do everything they can to attract tourists, even if it means wearing “hairy feet”.
Mr Hickton is keen for businesses not to underestimate the importance of the films in bringing tourists to the country. He sees The Hobbit as being more significant to tourism than the Rugby World Cup or The Lord of the Rings trilogy and wants the nation to be prepared says Hamilton News.
“One of the things we have to do is get to understand the psyche of people who want to come and see it,” he said, “This is bigger than last time. You need to be actively aware of what it looks like, what the story is.
“You need to talk about Hobbits, put on hairy feet. Do whatever you can to make sure that when people come to this place that you absolutely embrace it, that you ‘get it.’
In the last year visitors to Hobbiton, the home of Frodo and Bilbo, increased by 60 per cent to 266,000 . The Weta Cave had 100,000 visitors, 70,000 of whom came from abroad.
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