Food Tourism Funding Gets Government Boost in Hawke’s Bay

To strengthen the region’s positioning as New Zealand’s leading food and wine destination, Hawke’s Bay Tourism is investing in the creation of a seasonal calendar of food-focused events.

From the Government’s recently announced $50 million Reginal Events Fund, Hawke’s Bay has been allocated $600,000 across five years. Chief executive Hamish Saxton said the funding will go towards expanding Central Hawke’s Bay’s Spring Fling Festival, as well as investing the feasibility for an event that makes the most of the region’s spectacular countryside.

"We are also looking to build in Māori programming that will appeal to New Zealanders and attract domestic visitors from outside the region," said Saxton.

The allocation is directly representative of the percentage of Hawke’s Bay’s tourism economy that came from international visitors: $25 million of the $691 million total contribution to Hawke’s Bay’s visitor economy.

Saxton said Hawke’s Bay Tourism was grateful to the Government for recognising the ongoing need of the region’s tourism and events industries, adding that it was working with a two-to-four-year vision to invest in bolstering Hawke’s Bay’s reputation for food and wine.

"Investing in food-focused events will strengthen this unique selling point and bring visitors to the entire region for longer periods,” noted Saxton.

"Hawke's Bay already does events so very well, but the purpose of this fund and subsequent spending will be to create a legacy that serves the region's visitor economy for years to come."