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Wine holidays are all the rage in countries like Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The New South Wales Northern Rivers region tourism agency wants to see food holidays gain as much popularity in the area.
Wine is a big industry in Australia, with 728 million litres of the tasty concoction exported in the past 12 months alone. Regions that host wine holidays can see an influx in tourist dollars spent on hotels, shopping, dining, and of course at vineyards and wine outlets.
"Most of the research we have is based around wine," Northern Rivers Tourism CEO Russell Mills told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation about the region’s tourism industry, "but I certainly don't think we can promote ourselves as a wine region."
Mills and his agency want to see food take center stage. The Northern Rivers area has a plethora of food suppliers, including a number of organizations that practice organic farming. Sustainability and organic growing have become increasingly popular in recent years, so marketing the industry is a good way to both promote tourism and tempt tourists into local eateries.
While staying in the area allows the best access to the agricultural wealth of northern New South Wales, vacationers booking Newcastle or Brisbane holiday packages could include educational trips to organic farms. "We're trying to be more savvy about knowing where our food comes from," noted Mills. "We're looking at packages where accommodation suppliers take their visitors out to see some of the food producers in the area," by fostering collaboration between holiday package services and local food producers.
How can a trip to the farm or a dinner of local foods compare to wine holidays? While wine production is fascinating - especially after a tasting or two - adults and children alike can benefit from learning about what they eat and where it comes from.
The modern rise in obesity rates is largely attributed to a lack of nutritional knowledge and the pre-packaged snack food culture. By taking children on a holiday that teaches them where their food comes from, they may grow an appreciation for the vegetables and fresh products parents want them to eat.
The Northern Rivers region economy relies heavily on tourism dollars, and success in their campaign to become the food holiday center of the East would boost the industry. New South Wales residents can serve their bodies, minds and local economy by simply booking a holiday package.
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