Tauranga's inaugural street art festival Paradox injected $1.2m of visitor spending into the region, an evaluation has found.
The evaluation, commissioned by Tauranga City Council, estimated the festival brought 10,170 visitors to the city and expanded the region's GDP (gross domestic product) by $691,000.
The festival, held from March 28, 2017 - June 15, 2017, was developed by the council in partnership with Oi YOU! and Tauranga Art Gallery.
The council's investment into the festival was $115,000. The regional return on investment for Paradox was 293 per cent.
This covered various festival costs including fees, travel, accommodation, paint costs and cherry picker hire.
Mayor Greg Brownless said the interest in this festival far exceeded expectations.
"Paradox was created for the whole community to enjoy and we're proud to have supported it."
The festival consisted of three parts:
•Paradox Inside at Tauranga Art Gallery with a major street art exhibition, including the Oi YOU! Collection, which features the most extensive works of street artist Banksy in the Southern Hemisphere.
•Paradox Outside with eight large murals on iconic walls of the city centre.
•Paradox Live and Local - the 12-week events programme that engaged with our communities, and especially with youth.
During Paradox a record of 49,180 visitors went to the art gallery, with 52 per cent of those from Tauranga and 48 per cent from outside of the city.
Tauranga Art Gallery director Karl Chitham said: "As far as we know, Paradox was the first time that a municipal art gallery in a major city in the Southern Hemisphere has been given over to street art, and it proved how successful this could be."
"It's unusual for a gallery to have lines of people waiting to come in for an exhibition, and this gave an incredible boost to the energy in the CBD."
Councillor Max Mason, chairman of the council's Economic Development and Investment Committee, said the whole community should feel proud of the contribution Paradox made towards the efforts to transform Tauranga's city centre.
"Paradox added to the city's vibrancy and made our communities incredibly proud," he said.
"Festivals like this position Tauranga as a vibrant, creative and internationally competitive city".