New Zealand

New Zealand mountains

Call this the Hobbit magic.

New Zealand's tourism sector grew 14.6% in 2015, far outpacing 2.2% growth in the wider economy.

Scowsill said the country's tourist marketing has always been "superb." For example, Tourism New Zealand claims to be the world's oldest national tourism organization.

New Zealand appeals to many Chinese tourists, who now make up the second largest group of visitors after Australians.

And then there is the Lord of the Rings effect: 13% of all visitors coming to New Zealand want to see where the films were produced.

First published March 21, 2016: 12:35 PM ET

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