New Zealand got a huge boost from tourism due to fans of the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy, and the recent release of the new movie “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” putting focus back on the destination. All the blockbusters were filmed in New Zealand.
Over 2,000 events have already been planned for 2013. Including those for left-handers and redheads as well as reunions based on family clans and names.
According to Bernard McMullan of Tourism Ireland, it is almost like a competition, where one village town or county tries to have as quirky a gathering as the next.
The United States Census Bureau says that 34.7 million Americans claim to have Irish ancestry. Even President Obama has an Irish ancestor in his family tree.
The executive editorial director of Fodor’s Travel, Arabella Bowen, says that it will be fun for people to connect with others heading back for the event, it’s like a year of St. Patrick Day parties.
The U.S. president’s recent visit to Mayanmar, is adding to the interest in the country, which only opened fully to tourism a few years ago. Bowen says it is an attractive destination to people who are already world travelers and looking for that next unknown place.
Lots of tour companies are adding trips because of demand from the United States Tour Operators Association’s active members named the country as No. 1 on a list of “off-the beaten path,” destinations that they foresee as becoming popular in 2013.