International Rugby Board chief executive Mike Miller said the World Cup was probably the best that had been held.
In the fans' eyes, much of the success was down to the waterfront in Auckland.
"We've just made a monumental leap forward. Aucklanders have seen the value of their waterfront," said Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney.
The numerous activities on the waterfront may have been of limited economic benefit to the rest of the CBD, but they showed how the area could be transformed into a public space and created a demand for it, he said.
"It's back to normal, but it's a new normal. Today's privilege is tomorrow's expectations."
Visitors to New Zealand usually stayed in Auckland for only two nights, once upon arrival and again when they left, Mr Swney said.
The waterfront could become a destination to keep them longer. Just one extra guest-night would add $1 billion to Auckland's economy.
More than a million visits to Queens Wharf
Party Central received more than a million visits during the World Cup as the hub of the country-wide festival.
"It's been a remarkable success," said Real New Zealand Festival director Briony Ellis.
"It's brought to life a vision that's been long held in Auckland - there's nothing like a catalyst of a tournament like this to get some action under way."
The wharf offered a range of experiences, from reflective presentations inside the giant rugby ball to the parties at the big stage outside Shed 10, where 99 bands played throughout the tournament period.
"I would hope that it continues to be used as a public space," Ms Ellis said.
The tourism industry gaining prominence
Colourful World Cup visitors had shown New Zealanders the value of tourism, said Tourism Industry Association chief executive Tim Cossar.
Business was mixed for some operators during the tournament, as the major event displaced the normal traffic of visitors.
"But Kiwis actually saw international visitors enjoying our country - usually they're almost invisible because they're not wearing the colours of their country," Mr Cossar said.
"People who aren't familiar with the power of tourism saw how powerful it can be, and that's a win."
Kingsland becoming a part of the Eden Park experience
Kingsland was swamped by fans before, after and even during World Cup matches at Eden Park as the area opened up new public spaces and put on extra entertainment.
Business association manager Christine Foley said the trend was set to continue at future events.
"One of the fantastic results has been the way Eden Park is becoming much more a part of the Kingsland community," she said.
"It's the idea that people can walk to the match and have a leisurely meal beforehand and come down afterwards to relax."
Aucklanders had learned to enjoy new areas of the city during the tournament, Mrs Foley said.
"It's been a shot in the arm for our area," she said.
"People are seeing a lot more of the city and having a sense of ownership and pride."
Small towns becoming destinations
Kawerau, Tokoroa, Port Charles (Coromandel) and many other spots around the country became visitor destinations during the Real New Zealand Festival.
Director Briony Ellis said the World Cup and its associated events had put small towns and events on the map to be enjoyed in the years to come.
"Areas you wouldn't necessarily think of as festival centres made the festival all the richer," Ms Ellis said.
"The greatest triumph was how far-reaching it was, because the entire country wanted to showcase what it had.
"They were fantastic opportunities for New Zealanders to discover more about themselves, and obviously people loved it."
The upcoming summer was a chance to see for ourselves what we showed to visitors, Ms Ellis said.
The Auckland fan trail exceeding expectations three times over
Organisers counted 121,141 people taking the fan trail - more than three times as many as originally expected.
"We were always hopeful, but the success of that fan trail might be a revelation," said Heart of the City's Alex Swney.
Kingsland Business Association's Christine Foley said the trail had been a "runaway" success that boosted business in surrounding areas.
Real New Zealand Festival's Briony Ellis said: "The way it engaged visitors in a journey that was wider than rugby was really a triumph."
Phenomenal spirit despite some patchy business
Hotels: New Zealand hotels showed they could host a major event with great spirit, said Hotel Council chairwoman Jennie Langley.
"Honestly, throughout the country there was just this phenomenal goodwill. We had groups of visitors from countries that don't normally come here ... They enjoyed New Zealand, and hotels enjoyed looking after them."
Trade was mixed - non-match locations and dates generally saw a slight drop in business, Ms Langley said, and domestic corporate and leisure travel dried up.
Restaurants: Some restaurants experienced a roaring trade, and the others remain optimistic that the World Cup will have a long-term benefit in terms of visitor numbers.
"Overall, the cup has been positive for New Zealand, and we have to look at it that way," said Restaurant Association chief executive Marisa Bidois.
A survey of more than 200 restaurants found just under a third of eateries around the country had seen a lift in trade, while 58 per cent fared worse than usual and another 11 per cent reported no change.
Retail: The uplifting of the country's mood went hand-in-hand with a resurgence of consumer spending, said Retailers Association chief executive John Albertson.
"The fact that we won helps - it puts us in a positive frame of mind. Without it, we could be quite depressed at the moment in the lead up to Christmas," Mr Albertson said.
"We would certainly hope to see evidence of people feeling better about themselves."
The success for retailers was how everyone got out to embrace the festivities, he said.
"We've come out of our cocoons, we're now the butterflies."
Transport: Long-haul buses around New Zealand saw demand completely shift during the Rugby World Cup.
Intercity general manager Sam Peate said extra travel around match days had been offset by a drop in non-rugby trips, but there was always a good mix of visitors and locals on board to create a unique experience.
"Visitors got to sit alongside real Kiwis as they went about their travels, and New Zealanders got to sit with French, Irish and Welsh fans.
"There was a really good atmosphere right through New Zealand."By Michael Dickison Email Michael