Tourism and food and beverage exports together delivered 62 per cent of New Zealand's
export earnings in 2017, but more can be done to link the two and lift earnings, according to a new report from ANZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

The New Zealand Food & Agri Tourism Industry Insights report showed that food tourism in New Zealand generated higher earnings for each visitor than non-food tourism.

For example, visitors to New Zealand who visited a vineyard or attended a wine event spent over 25 per cent more on their trip than the average spend of $3900 for holiday visitors.

In addition, over 60 per cent of food tourists sought out products from the country they
visited when they got home.

Advertisement

"With our three biggest tourism markets, Australia, China and the USA, also being our three largest food and beverage export markets, this is a great opportunity for our primary sectors," said ANZ Managing Director Commercial & Agri Mark Hiddleston.

"Whether you are farming in Southland, exporting beer from Wellington or providing unique dining experiences in Northland, this report highlights opportunities both behind and beyond the farm gate to connect with consumers."

However, New Zealand's food and beverage experience ranked second lowest among all
categories covered by visitor satisfaction surveys due to a lack of variety and quality and
perception of high cost.

The report looked at the percentage of tourists from Australia, China and the USA
participating in a food-related activity while in New Zealand and found farm or orchard visits were the most popular activity followed by vineyards and wine trails.

"When you look at the visitor preferences for what type of product they seek out when they return home – wine, beer and processed food, for example honey and chocolate – you can already see the progress in adding value for certain sectors," said Hiddleston.

"Those looking to promote a value add New Zealand food story to the world need to look at how they can connect directly with consumers behind the farm gate to give them a true
'foodie experience'."

The report, which was co-authored with MPI's Economic Intelligence Unit, aims to raise the profile of the food tourism opportunity for New Zealand.

"Many of New Zealand's tourists have positive food and beverage experiences, and they
become the best influencers and advocates of New Zealand products around the world,"
says Emma Taylor, Director of Agriculture, Marine and Plant policy.

"This report helps to build our understanding of the types of tourists that value quality food and beverages. By having a better understanding of food tourism we can turn the growing number of tourists visiting New Zealand into consumers of our primary sector products."

App users read the full New Zealand Food and Agri Tourism report here.

- Data sourced from Statistics New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, The World Food Travel Association, MBIE, MPI and ANZ.