“Lord of the Rings” was a lesson in how media could effect tourism. "The Hobbit" will likely reignite interest in New Zealand's remote wonders after years of natural disasters have scared visitors away.
For Mr. Jackson, New Zealand and the millions of fans who spent the last decade tromping this island country in search of “Lord of the Rings” filming locations, the journey is about to begin again. In Wellington, over 100,000 onlookers are expected to turn up on Nov. 28 outside the red-carpet premiere of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of three “Hobbit” films planned for release by 2014. If all goes according to plan, the pictures will also reopen the floodgates of film tourism here.