Using Hobbits As A Tourist Draw

Make no mistake, Toronto has a lot riding on its expensive embrace of the theatrical version of Lord of the Rings, and the show’s success or failure will create ripple effects that reach far outside the city’s theatre district. “In recent years, Toronto has suffered the multiple blows of a post-9/11 tourism slump, SARS and the meteoric rise of both the Canadian dollar and the price of gas. These factors have helped cut the number of United States visitors from 3.2 million in 2000 to 2.7 million last year. And so Toronto’s tourism officials, along with everyone from parking lot owners to hoteliers, are optimistically counting on The Lord of the Rings to bring in the fans.”