Hobbits help draw tourists to New Zealand

Hobbits, elves and dragons appear to be luring tourists to New Zealand as fans await their first glimpse of the second movie in "The Hobbit" trilogy.

Figures released this month by government agency Tourism New Zealand show that international vacations to New Zealand rose 10 percent from January through April when compared to the same period last year.

The agency says a survey indicates that 8.5 percent of visitors cited "The Hobbit" as one reason for coming and that 13 percent took part in some kind of hobbit-themed tourism like visiting a film set.

Warner Bros. announced Monday it will release the first teaser-trailer of "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" at 1 p.m. EDT Tuesday. The second film will premiere Dec. 13 in Los Angeles.

 

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