An episode of America’s Next Top Model, shot in New Zealand, which screened in the US last night, is part of a push to attract more tourists from the United States, Tourism New Zealand says.
Contestants from the 14th series visited New Zealand in November and December last year, along with supermodel host Tyra Banks and American Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, who was a judge on the new season.
The America’s Next Top Model team was hosted by Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand while filming three episodes.
The episodes would screen in New Zealand later this year or in early 2011.
Tourism New Zealand said the show was one of the first results from a marketing partnership with the national air carrier, which aimed to increase US arrivals in New Zealand from under 200,000 this year to about 320,000 by 2014.
“By bringing television shows like America’s Next Top Model out here to film, we are enriching the ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ campaign and showing Americans what they can actually do when they come to New Zealand,” chief executive Kevin Bowler said.
The partners had launched a website, www.gonewzealand.com, where America’s Next Top Model content and travel deals would be rolled out as each episode aired, and tourists were encouraged to “walk the most gorgeous catwalk on earth”.
In an interview on the website, Banks said she chose New Zealand as a location because a lot of young Americans see the country as “a fantasy world”.
“It has such an exoticism to us,” she said, describing local fashion as “popping”, “edgy” and “forward”.
The website also includes a guide to New Zealand by guest judge, and judge of New Zealand’s Next Top Model, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, and features profiles of top New Zealand designers.