Many thanks to Jennifer for passing this along

From: Stephen Griffith
Tourism New Zealand 

Dear Jennifer

Thank you for your feedback. Tourism New Zealand has recently carried out some research into potential American travellers ideas about New Zealand. This wide ranging research included the finding that older American people are more likely to relate the actor Sam Neill positively to New Zealand than Xena and that sheep are not a motivating image for New Zealand in the American market. Our CEO, George Hickton, has accepted these findings.

Lucy Lawless has been generous with her time in working with us in promotional situations in the past. As you point out, the show casing of New Zealand scenery in the background to shows like Xena increases interest in travelling to New Zealand when people know that the series has been filmed here.

All this research says is that Xena is not a motivational character for one travel segment in one of our key markets. We are not reading anything else into this finding.

I hope these comments help clarify the situation. Please advise me of your postal address if you would like to receive a New Zealand Vacation brochure in the mail.

Yours sincerely

Stephen Griffith
Information Coordinator
Tourism New Zealand

Phone +64 4 917 5409 Fax +64 4 917 5430

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