Maintaining a Movie Tourism Business as a Flagship Attraction: A Case Study of Hobbiton Movie Set
Attractions are key features at tourist destinations; they are the most important component of tourism supply (Henderson, 2000). Despite this, only a small amount of academic literature focuses on site locations of movies as flagship attractions. The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, released in this century, have established an image of New Zealand as Middle Earth. The subsequent success of hobbit-related site attractions as tourist destinations can be very important to the socio-economic well-being of New Zealand communities. Without any further development, there is a possibility that the Hobbiton Movie Set could not attract more visitors. The aim of this paper is to discern how to best maintain a movie tourism business as a flagship attraction in New Zealand. The case-in-focus is the Hobbiton Movie Set, a village movie set located outside Matamata, on the North Island, New Zealand. Hobbiton was a key location for many of the Tolkien-inspired movies and has become a pilgrimage attraction for devotees the world over. The attraction has achieved flagship status (see Dybedal and Forskningscenter, 1998) for the Matamata region. Therefore, the data in this research will be collected from two sources, secondary data and semi structured interviews. Data from media sources, government reports and previous literature will be used as secondary data. The secondary data informs the primary data collection in this research. Semi structured interviews will be used for primary data collection. Semi structured interviews are chosen as the most appropriate strategy to gather information. The main result indicates that the Hobbiton Movie Set is not effectively fulfilling its role as a flagship attraction and thus the tourism industry in the wider Matamata region is not being effectively maintained.