MEDIA HUB: Bryce Dallas Howard casts New Zealand in lead role

Hollywood first brought US movie star Bryce Dallas Howard to New Zealand but now she's turned the tables by casting New Zealand in a starring role. 

NOTE:  For access to hi-res images of Bryce Dallas Howard, media outlets should contact brittany.hodill@tnz.govt.nz

Bryce Dallas Howard is spreading her love for New Zealand as the country's newest tourism voice in the US. The Pete’s Dragon, and Jurassic World star has teamed up with National Geographic Travel on a trip across New Zealand exploring spectacular parts of the country.  

An actress, filmmaker and now Tourism New Zealand brand ambassador, Bryce also served as creative director on the project. She was heavily involved in mapping the story, including selecting content themes, locations and video style.

The six-part video series and online content follows Bryce through the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest, Wellington and Queenstown. She will also star in Tourism New Zealand’s digital ad campaigns in the US and Canada and promote New Zealand in media appearances in the US. 

A long-time fan of New Zealand, Bryce travelled here in April this year to film the videos which are built around her favourite places and experiences. 

She says: “Many people assume New Zealand is too far away without realising that the wealth of experiences the country has to offer makes the travel time completely worth it. 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.”  

Bryce's lifelong relationship with New Zealand began as a child when she joined her father on a film set in Queenstown.  While filming for Disney’s Pete’s Dragon in 2015, she spent time in Wellington, the Bay of Plenty and Southland.

During Pete’s Dragon filming, she lived for a time at Mt Maunganui (in the Bay of Plenty) where her children went to school. She later moved to the tiny southern town of Tapanui where she lived on a farm and loved it.

“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.”

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says Bryce Dallas Howard is a perfect fit for the role as New Zealand’s tourism ambassador in the United States. “When you have someone of Bryce’s calibre who genuinely loves your country and you pair that with National Geographic Travel, world-renowned destination storytellers, magic happens. The videos are very natural and a perfect reflection of the very special experience New Zealand has to offer.  

“We know from past experience 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.”

America is New Zealand’s third largest international visitor market. 200,000 Americans took a holiday in New Zealand in the past year and Tourism New Zealand research shows that Americans are more satisfied with New Zealand than any other international visitors. 

ABOUT: The Ultimate New Zealand Experience

Join Bryce Dallas Howard on a journey across New Zealand with National Geographic Travel in a six-part video series and online content hub: The Ultimate New Zealand Experience.

An actress, filmmaker and Tourism New Zealand Brand Ambassador, Bryce also served as Creative Director on the project. Bryce was heavily involved in mapping the story, including selecting the content themes, locations and video style.

A collaborative project, 'The Ultimate New Zealand Experience' was produced by National Geographic Travel with Tourism New Zealand.

Learn more about Bryce's New Zealand experiences here:

Experience New Zealand like a local: "It’s the warm, laidback nature of Kiwis – above everything else - that made me fall in love with this beautiful place. If you want to truly experience New Zealand, you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes and embrace the Kiwi lifestyle." 

Bryce's Insider’s Guide to Queenstown and beyond: For Bryce Dallas Howard returning to New Zealand, which she first visited as a five-year-old, there is an instant connection that she describes as “an almost spiritual experience”.