Agrifood tourism, rural resilience, and recovery in a postdisaster context: Insights and evidence from Kaikōura-Hurunui, New Zealand
On November 14, 2016 an earthquake struck the rural districts of Kaikōura and Hurunui on New Zealand’s South Island. The region—characterized by small dispersed communities, a local economy based on tourism and agriculture, and limited transportation connections—was severely impacted. Following the quake, road and rail networks essential to maintaining steady flows of goods, visitors, and services were extensively damaged, leaving agrifood producers with significant logistical challenges, resulting in reduced productivity and problematic market access. Regional tourism destinations also suffered with changes to the number, characteristics, and travel patterns of visitors. As the region recovers, there is renewed interest in the development and promotion of agrifood tourism and trails as a pathway for enhancing rural resilience, and a growing awareness of the importance of local networks. Drawing on empirical evidence and insights from a range of affected stakeholders, including food producers, tourism operators, and local government, we explore the significance of emerging agrifood tourism initiatives for fostering diversity, enhancing connectivity, and building resilience in the context of rural recovery. We highlight the motivation to diversify distribution channels for agrifood producers, and strengthen the region’s tourism place identity. Enhancing product offerings and establishing better links between different destinations within the region are seen as essential. While such trends are common in rural regions globally, we suggest that stakeholders’ shared experience with the earthquake and its aftermath has opened up new opportunities for regeneration and reimagination, and has influenced current agrifood tourism trajectories. In particular, additional funding for tourism recovery marketing and product development after the earthquake, and an emphasis on greater connectivity between the residents and communities through strengthening rural networks and building social capital within and between regions, is enabling more resilient and sustainable futures.... [Show full abstract]
Fields of Research15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; 150604 Tourism Marketing; 150309 Logistics and Supply Chain Management; 359999 Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified; 350804 Tourism marketing; 350909 Supply chains; 440406 Rural community development; 350703 Disaster and emergency management; 350803 Tourism management
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