SINGAPORE, — Food. Glorious food. The Malaysian passion for food is a key focus even while away on holiday, according to a survey by BlackBox Research for Tourism New Zealand.

The survey found that eight in 10 (80 per cent) Malaysians ranked indulging in a country’s local delicacies as the activity they enjoyed doing most when on holiday in another country.

The survey of 1,000 respondents also revealed that 50 per cent of Malaysian travellers appreciated 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).

Tourism New Zealand’s Regional Manager for South and South East Asia, Steven Dixon said the Malaysian love for food was something the people in New Zealand could certainly relate to.

He said there were many places in New Zealand which could cater to the Malaysian traveller’s palette.

New Zealand offers a wide range of gourmet experiences throughout the country.

From savouring the 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, he said in a statement here today.

Dixon highlighted that Tourism New Zealand had the Halal Food Guide to cater to Muslim visitors that could be downloaded at

Launched last year, the Guide provides information on 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 Dixon.

There are also many food events throughout the year in New Zealand, which offer a great way for Malaysian travellers to not only immerse 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.

Dixon said a holiday in New Zealand is 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, he said there were non-stop flights to New Zealand from Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines and great one-stop options with airlines such as Singapore Airlines.