Like pasta is to Italy, so is the Bluff Oyster to Southland, and a new strategy shows how Southland could become a food travellers’ paradise - just like the European nation.
The Southland Murihiku Food Tourism Strategy released this week has been created by Great South, based on analysis undertaken by Eat New Zealand and with the help of local gastronomic expertise.
Great South Destination Development Manager Amie Young said while Southland was well known for cheese rolls and oysters, there was a lot more to its food story.
“We have a reputation for our high-quality primary produce and kaimoana direct from the region’s pristine ocean waters. There is real opportunity for Southland to share its food, food culture and food production stories.”
The opportunity to attract visitors to Southland based on the strength of its unique food was identified as part of the Southland Murihiku Destination Management Strategy developed in 2019.
Key opportunities identified in the food tourism strategy include: connecting local producers with the hospitality sector to deliver local and authentic Southland food experiences; establishing a regional food collective to support the development and promotion of Southland’s food sector; using events to showcase Southland’s iconic food stories; and supporting local Rūnaka to share Southland’s cultural food stories.
Southland is one of the first regions in New Zealand to undertake such a comprehensive analysis of the potential for a food tourism industry.
Eat New Zealand Chief Executive Angela Clifford said she hoped other regions would follow this lead.
“Connecting New Zealand’s two biggest sectors, food and tourism, would create new opportunities for everyone.”
The Strategy will be shared with stakeholders around the region this week.
Read the full Southland Murihiku food tourism strategy