Lord of the Rings boosts tourism site numbers

While The Lord of the Rings is proving a smash hit at the box office it's a drawcard for Tourism New Zealand's new Web site.

The site shows off New Zealand's geographic splendour and includes information on where Lord of the Rings was filmed, how to get here, where to stay and what to do and is attracting a lot of overseas attention.

Tourism New Zealand spokesperson Josie Brennan says interest in the site doubled in the first week the movie was screening.

"We've been averaging around 4000 visitors a day but in that first 24 hours the traffic doubled over what we'd been getting."

Brennan says a large percentage of the visitors are from overseas, which is good news for Tourism NZ.

"They're our target audience so while we're happy to see New Zealanders looking at the site it's great to see so many from elsewhere."

Of the visitors, 36 per cent are from the USA, 15 per cent from Australia and 9 per cent from the UK. Part of the draw seems to be a Flash presentation narrated by Lucy Lawless, star of TV series Xena: Warrior Princess. A number of Xena fan sites, along with Lord of the Rings sites, are pointing to the PureNZ site, boosting viewer numbers, says Brennan.

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