TOURISM New Zealand and Changi Airport Group have come together to launch a life-sized Hobbit Hole as part of the NTOs Naturally New Zealand exhibition, in the departure hall of Changi Airport Terminal 3 to the public last Saturday, tentatively until April 5.
Local English-language newspaper Today reported that both parties, together with several partners including DHL and Singapore Airlines, are involved.
Russell Alexander, owner and general manager of Hobbiton, was quoted as saying: “Hobbiton sits in an idyllic landscape in New Zealand and we hope to give visitors a little taste of what New Zealand has to offer.
“You can smell the flowers; the props and the timber were all brought in from New Zealand. We have art directors and builders to make sure everything is made to look like our hobbit holes back home. There are 44 hobbit holes in Hobbiton… this travelling one is our 45th.”
Jacqui Smith, a representative from Tourism New Zealand was also quoted as saying: “We know there is quite a big appetite for New Zealand in Singapore. The last film in the Hobbit trilogy is the highest grossing among the LOTR and Hobbit series here. Singapore is a key market for visitors to New Zealand and this year, we celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations as well.”
The same article reported that other activities, including food tasting sessions of New Zealand produce and a 5D simulator ride built next to the hole are being run in conjunction.
Visitor numbers from Singapore to New Zealand have continued to rise, increasing 8.2 per cent as of end-January 2015. Tourism New Zealand’s regional manager of South and South-east Asia, Steven Dixon, said in a press statement the rise is expected to continue with increasing air connectivity and promotional campaigns.
“We were very pleased to officially welcome our national carrier back to Singapore earlier this month and will be working closely to grow both demand and capacity for travel to New Zealand,” he said.