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Foodie conference brings a feast of opportunities

Foodie conference brings a feast of opportunities

Auckland’s successful bid to host the world’s largest gathering of food and drink tourism professionals is set to benefit the New Zealand food, tourism and conference industries.

Auckland will stage the 2017 World Food Travel Summit following a successful bid led by Elle Armon-Jones of The Big Foody, an Auckland-based food tourism business, and supported by Auckland Convention Bureau – part of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) – and Tourism New Zealand (TNZ).

Three other strong international contenders also bid for the four-day summit, which will be held at Shed 10 on Auckland’s waterfront in May 2017.

A New Zealand embassy of the World Food Travel Association (WFTA), Feast NZ, has been established as a result of this successful bid.

Feast NZ will host the summit to include a consumer and business tradeshow component. Feast NZ will also be connected to a global network of food tourism businesses through the WFTA, creating growth and networking opportunities.

ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says this conference is a big win for Auckland and New Zealand.

“The conference will generate $750,000 for Auckland from the estimated 500 international delegates expected to attend. As well as the financial return we are also excited about what these new global connections could do for the local food and beverage sectors.

“ATEED will continue to work closely with Feast NZ to make the most of these opportunities.”

Elle Armon-Jones, founder of The Big Foody, has been appointed Chief Executive of Feast NZ and New-Zealand-based international food writer Lauraine Jacobs is Chair of the Board of Governors.

According to Ms Armon-Jones, culinary tourism is the fastest growing sector in global tourism.

“Food Tourism is all about seeking the authentic, the memorable and the braggable culinary experience. Feast NZ will start to connect, promote and support the food tourism industry across the country.

“The Feast NZ website will have everything from food tours and cooking schools to local growers and artisan producers, providing a one-stop shop resource for tourists to discover the very best of what New Zealand has to offer. One long-term goal is to have a national food trail from the north to the south,” says Ms Armon-Jones.

TNZ supported the establishment of Feast NZ and believes that the conference win is a great opportunity to build New Zealand’s reputation as a world class food destination.

TNZ’s Director of Trade, PR and Major Events Justin Watson says New Zealand winning the hosting rights to the World Food Travel Summit is down to the collaborative efforts of the conference organiser, TNZ and Auckland Convention Bureau.

“We are attracting more high-value visitors to the country, in this case specifically targeting the off-season, while at the same time growing New Zealand’s knowledge economy and our reputation abroad,’’ Mr Watson says.

Auckland Convention Bureau markets Auckland as a destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and events. Find out more at aucklandnz.com/conventions or email conventions@aucklandnz.com.


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