'Dronies' to Become Latest Trend as Tourism New Zealand Buys Drone to Record Tourists' Videos

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By Reissa Su | July 23, 2014 5:30 PM EST

Taking pictures or videos using drones may become the next big trend as Tourism New Zealand hires drones to help people record their holiday memories. According to reports, experts predict that drones will become more popular in tourist destinations.

REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files
A camera drone flown by Brian Wilson flies near the scene where two buildings were destroyed in an explosion, in the East Harlem section in New York City in this file photo from March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files

"Dronies" are short videos of people using a remote-controlled pilotless aircraft. Reports said the term was coined when Photojojo founder Amit Gupta posted a video of himself on the mountain where he and his friends were standing.

The "dronie" trend began to take root in social media with 1,200 reported uses of the hashtag #dronie. In response to the increasing popularity of dronies, Tourism New Zelaand has bought the DJI Phantom 2 Vision + drone for $1,400 to go around the country's ski slopes, including Lake Tekapo and Queenstown to take tourists' dronies.

Tony Saunders, general manager of Tourism New Zealand Australia, said the drone project was designed to attract younger tourists who are fond of taking selfies. He noted that popular selfies and dronies were "getting a lot of attention." Saunders believes that dronies have become a creative way of recording people's memories.  

The drone can capture full HD videos of tourists for eight seconds beginning with a close-up of the subject and then later the background of New Zealand's ski slopes. New Zealand tourism authorities said the drone will begin touring ski slopes within the month of July or August. Tourists can start watching out for the drone in Coronet Peak, Mount Hutt, Cardona and Mount Cook.

Saunders said the hashtag #NZDronie may soon become popular as the skiing season begins in New Zealand. He revealed that the tourism industry in the country is excited with the drone project to attract more visitors and foreign tourists.

The tourists featured in the short drone videos will be sent footage via email so they can share their recorded memories to social media sites. Australian visitors are the biggest market for the skiing industry. An estimated 15 per cent of those visiting New Zealand from Australia usually go on skiing trips.

Saunders revealed the drones can also be used for dronies while touring the country, golfing or cycling.

Reports said drone experts predict that the use of these remote-controlled flying objects may become popular outside the tourism industry. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files / )
A camera drone flown by Brian Wilson flies near the scene where two buildings were destroyed in an explosion, in the East Harlem section in New York City in this file photo from March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files
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