That's What I'm Tolkien About: Top Tourist Spots Inspired by Film and TV

Tourism New Zealand has revealed that despite there being twice as many cows as people, it's hobbits that are the real cash crop for the country.The enduring appeal of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies has led tourism to become New Zealand's top foreign money earner. Read on to discover what other tourist destinations have benefited from the glamour and star dust of the silver screen.

  1. 1

    New Zealand (Hobbit, Lord of the Rings)

    Loyal fans heading down under in search of the real life Middle-Earth, complete with its grassy Hobbit homes, has helped tourism overtake dairy as New Zealand's top earner of foreign cash. A record 3.4 million visitors arrived in New Zealand over the last year. The total population of the Pacific nation is only 4.5 million.

  2. 2

    New York City, US (Sex and the City)

    For many fashionistas, New York and Sex and The City go hand in hand. Manhattan's Magnolia Bakery, featured in the hit sitcom, continues to draw fans eager to reminisce about their favorite episodes over a cupcake.

  3. 3

    Ko Phi Phi Leh, Thailand (The Beach)

    Despite the unsettling plot, the pristine beaches and azure waters from The Beach drew attention to Thailand's Ko Phi Phi Leh. However, its fame has come at the price of huge numbers of tourists crowding the tiny island.

  4. 4

    Skiathos, Greece (Mama Mia)

    The Mamma Mia island of Skiathos has been a runaway success for fans of the feel good Abba musical, made into a Hollywood film starring Meryl Streep in 2008. With the country's economic crisis, tourism draws like Skiathos are more important than ever in the Greek tourism sector.

  5. 5

    Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones)

    Winter may be coming for Northern Ireland, but the cold weather is unlikely to put off diehard fans of Game of Thrones. Northern Ireland Screen estimates that the wildly successful TV show has brought in more than US$134 million for Northern Ireland in tourism and jobs.

  6. 6

    Las Vegas, US (The Hangover)

    Las Vegas' Caesars Palace Hotel was a key location in the hapless bromance film, The Hangover. Caesars Entertainment Regional President Gary Selesner, has told reporters that fans continue to enter the Hotel to quote lines from the film, including "Did Caesar live here?"

  7. 7

    UK (Harry Potter)

    British tourism has enjoyed a huge tourism boost from the global phenomenon that is Harry Potter. Key draws for Potter fans include Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. Visitor figures have jumped 230% since 2011, pumping an extra US$11 million into the local economy.

  8. 8

    Tunisia (Star Wars)

    Rather than being in a galaxy far, far away, Tataouine is a real life town in Tunisia, in the Sahara Desert. It was the inspiration for the planet Tatooine in the Star Wars franchise. The film set of the spaceport settlement Mos Espa still stands, complete with homes and vaporators, for fans to walk through in person.

  9. 9

    Alberquerque, US (Breaking Bad)

    Albuquerque, New Mexico may have been worried that a show about drugs would ruin its name, but tourists are undeterred. Sell-out Breaking Bad tours have been capitalizing on the cult hit. The show's success has even led to tax cuts of 30% for productions filming in New Mexico.

  10. 10

    Petra, Jordan (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade)

    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was partly filmed in the magnificent ancient city of Petra. The city's treasury was the location for the film's secret lost temple. In an example of art imitating life, the prehistoric city was itself "lost" in the mountains for centuries until being discovered by a Swiss explorer in the 1800s. The 1989 Hollywood blockbuster increased Jordan's visibility at a time when it was relatively unknown to western travelers.

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