Actress Bryce Dallas Howard promotes New Zealand in the US and Canada
American actress Bryce Dallas Howard has directed a video series designed to lure more of her compatriots to New Zealand.
The six-part series and online content, developed in partnership with Tourism New Zealand and National Geographic, charts the Pete's Dragon and Jurassic World star's trip through the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest, Wellington and Queenstown.
Howard, who lived in Mt Maunganui and on a farm in Tapanui while filming Disney's Pete's Dragon in 2015, will also star in Tourism NZ's digital ad campaigns in the US and Canada and promote New Zealand in the US.
Tourism NZ chief executive Stephen England-Hall said Howard's genuine love for New Zealand makes her a perfect ambassador for the country.
"We know from past experience of working with celebrities like China's Huang Lei or India's Sidharth Malhotra that their influence through digital and social media can be enormous.
"There is significant potential to grow the US market which is being helped by the increase in airline capacity and having a tourism ambassador of the calibre of Bryce Dallas Howard is a great opportunity to help grow that market."
Some 210,000 Americans holidayed in New Zealand in the year ending May 2017 - up 32 per cent on the previous year, according to Tourism NZ.
Howard is hoping the $2 million campaign will convince her fellow Americans that the long-haul flight to New Zealand is worth it.
"Many people assume New Zealand is too far without realising that the wealth of experiences the country has to offer makes the travel time completely worth it," she said.
"I've been surprised how quickly the time on that flight passes each time I've travelled there. It's really just a night's sleep away and once you're there, you've arrived at heaven on earth."
Howard first visited New Zealand as a child when she joined her father on a film set in Queenstown and fell in love with Kiwis' outdoor lifestyles.
"When I spend time in New Zealand, I always admire the importance Kiwis place on embracing nature and being outside. Just as much as the setting, it's this gratitude for the planet and the lifestyle formed from it that makes me love this country so much."