The Pete’s Dragon and Jurassic World star has teamed up with National Geographic Travel, directing a trip across New Zealand and exploring spectacular parts of the country.
A six-part video series and online content follows Howard through the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest, Wellington and Queenstown. She will also star in Tourism New Zealand’s digital ad campaigns in the U.S. and Canada and promote New Zealand in media appearances in the U.S.
A long-time fan of New Zealand, Howard traveled there in April of this year to film the videos, which are built around her favorite places and experiences. As creative director, she was heavily involved in mapping the story, including selecting content themes, locations and video style.
“Many people assume New Zealand is too far without realizing that the wealth of experiences the country has to offer makes the travel time completely worth it,” she said in a written release. “I’ve been surprised how quickly the time on that flight passes each time I’ve traveled there. It’s really just a night’s sleep away and once you’re there, you’ve arrived at heaven on earth.”
Howard’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, Howard spent time in Wellington, the Bay of Plenty and Southland.
During Pete’s Dragon filming, she lived for a time at Mt. Maunganui, where her children went to school. She later moved to 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,” she said. “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 Howard is a perfect fit for the role as New Zealand’s tourism ambassador in the U.S.
“When you have someone of Bryce’s caliber who genuinely loves your country and you pair that with National Geographic Travel, world renowned destination storytellers, magic happens,” said England-Hall. “The videos are very natural and a perfect reflection of the very special experience New Zealand has to offer.”
America is New Zealand’s third largest international visitor market. In fact, roughly 200,000 Americans took a holiday in New Zealand in the past year and Tourism New Zealand’s research shows that Americans are more satisfied with New Zealand than any other international visitors.