Tourism New Zealand's 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign has been awarded the top honour at the 2012 World Travel Awards.
Despite a scathing attack on the campaign from a local environmentalist, the 100% Middle-earth advertising was voted the World's Leading Destination Marketing Campaign at a ceremony in New Delhi last night.
The campaign, which features a 60-second 100% Middle-earth commercial , references the local landscapes used as a backdrop for Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
The commercial was broadcast in key tourist markets including Australia, United Kingdom, United States, China and Germany.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler said winning the award was a "huge honour".
"We believe that we have identified a valuable opportunity to enhance the country's international profile through its association with the filming of The Hobbit trilogy," he said.
"Through our new 100% Pure New Zealand campaign we aim to leverage the attention that New Zealand will receive by starring in these movies, and convert that attention into travel."
Tourism NZ invested around $10 million on producing the new campaign.
The award comes at the end of a great year for Tourism New Zealand having been voted Leading Tourist Board in the 2012 Australasian World Travel Awards, and named the Favourite Country - Worldwide at the Telegraph Travel Awards.
New Zealand has also been named the top destination for 2013 by Flight Centre Australia.
According to the Travel Awards website, the winners were decided by tourism professionals in more than 171 countries across the globe including travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organisations.