Will New Tolkien-Inspired Movies and Series Spark a Tourism Surge?

Will New Tolkien-Inspired Movies and Series Spark a Tourism Surge? 

New Zealand is preparing for what could be another influx of tourists after the release of new movies and series based on Tolkien’s works. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have multiple new projects set in Middle Earth that fans globally are excited about. Will this enthusiasm translate into a tourism boom for New Zealand, a famous background for the original trilogies? We think so! Let’s explore the potential impact of these new Tolkien-inspired productions on New Zealand tourism.


The Legacy of Middle Earth Tourism

Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, a lot of it in New Zealand, making New Zealand an obligatory place to visit for fans of fantasy stories. These places have since attracted millions of tourists eager to see Hobbiton, the rolling hills of Shire, and a sharply rising peak called Mount Doom.

There has been an explosion in tourist infrastructure, from guided tours to independent trekking in these areas. The industry has boosted New Zealand’s appeal as fans like to live their favourite characters’ lives by following in their footsteps. It would be safe to assume the new films and series could rekindle interest and attract fresh crowds.


New films Are Coming Soon


This announcement by Warner Bros., with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens at its helm, has heralded renewed excitement. Loved across generations for his portrayal of Gollum, Andy Serkis will direct and star in Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum. In 2026, this movie is set to be released to unveil some untold storylines from Middle Earth, where die-hard enthusiasts will find something new.

Moreover, further expanding the lore will be an animated prequel titled The War of Rohirrim, which will hit theatres in December. As these projects continue, they will surely stir up global interest in Tolkien’s universe, positioning New Zealand as the gateway between our real world and his magical one.

It seems like we’ve come full circle. IN many ways, the original Lord of the Rings movie trilogy kick-started our widespread fondness for fantasy. While the genre had been around for a long time throughout the mid- to late-century, LOTR really was the first big-budget movie that grabbed the attention of viewers beyond the niche. Ever since then, fantasy has represented one of the most lucrative niches – if we can even call it a ‘niche’ anymore – out there. TV shows like GoT and Shadow and Bone represent major pop cultural landmarks, while games in formats as diverse as MMORPG pokie titles have embraced a lore of their own in order to introduce players to new and, at times, unfamiliar worlds. 

Now, our love of fantasy will bring us back to Middle Earth – along with plenty of viewers who have yet to explore its wonders. 

The Power of Film-Induced Tourism

Some locations have become popular tourist spots due to film-generated tourism. For example, Dubrovnik experienced an increase in tourists after being featured on Game of Thrones or Scotland with Outlander.The Middle Earth of New Zealand is just the same. If properly marketed and facilitated, these new films can bring more tourists to the country. Tourism in New Zealand has already started thinking about how to use this opportunity wisely. They’ll be looking into enhancing existing tours, creating new experiences around Middle Earth, and possibly establishing attractions based on the new filming locations. These ideas – combined with great anticipation by fans globally – could see tourism numbers rise again.


Exploring Modern Tourism Trends

New movies and series have a bigger impact than traditional media. On social media platforms, influencers and travel bloggers play a significant role in encouraging visitors to get involved in trips, especially if they’re visiting iconic movie scenes. The visibility boosts when Instagram feeds and TikTok videos flood with breathtaking moments from New Zealand labelled #MiddleEarth, or #Tolkien can be massive. TikTok definitely knows how to generate hype.

Collaborations among filmmakers, tourism authorities, and local communities are necessary. New Zealand could benefit from this potential influx of tourists in places like Auckland through sustainable tourism initiatives and the promotion of eco-friendly travel practices.

These new Tolkien movies and series can cause great leaps in the number of tourists visiting New Zealand. It’ll be interesting to see whether it actually happens. Would you be part of the numbers?


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