Malaysians’ passion for food is a key focus even while away on holiday. A survey conducted by BlackBox Research for Tourism New Zealand found that eight in 10 (80 per cent) Malaysians rank indulging in a country’s local delicacies as the activity they enjoy doing most when on holiday in a different country.

The survey of 1,000 respondents also revealed that 50 per cent of Malaysian travellers appreciate the quality time spent with family and friends while holidaying, followed by basking in nature’s beauty (43 per cent) and relaxing by the beach (43 per cent).

Seafood in Waiheke Island, Auckland

Seafood in Waiheke Island, Auckland

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for South and South East Asia, Mr Steven Dixon, said the love for food Malaysians have is something the people in New Zealand can certainly relate to, adding that there are many places in New Zealand which can cater to the Malaysian traveller’s palette.

“New Zealand offers a wide range of gourmet experiences throughout the country. From savouring a traditional hangi feast in central North Island to tasting the freshest catch of the day in crayfish capital Kaikoura, there is something for every foodie Malaysian traveller to enjoy in the different locations in New Zealand.

“We also have the Halal Food Guide to cater to our Muslim visitors. The guide was launched last year and provides information about suitable halal dining options. It includes a list of various halal-certified restaurants and cafes as well as those which offer vegetarian dishes or vegan cuisine,” said Mr Dixon.

Hangi feast in New Plymouth, Taranakim

Hangi feast in New Plymouth, Taranakim

There are also many food events that take place throughout the year in New Zealand, which offer a great way for Malaysian travellers to not only immerse themselves in the country’s food culture, but also spend quality time with loved ones.

One example of these key events is Wellington On a Plate, an annual culinary festival held in August which sees the city’s restaurants and eateries whip up new and different dishes throughout a two-week period to tempt everyone’s taste buds.

Mr Dixon added that a holiday in New Zealand is also very accessible for Malaysian travellers.

“Malaysians don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand, which makes it more convenient for them to visit New Zealand and have a culinary or leisurely holiday experience.

“Furthermore, there are non-stop flights to New Zealand from Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines,” said Mr Dixon.