More than 120,000 people are expected to attend major concerts and cricket events in the Bay of Plenty this summer, providing a multi million-dollar boost to the local economy.
Four one-day internationals at Bay Oval this summer are expected to draw up to 40,000 fans, while major music festivals and concerts featuring national and international acts could attract more than 80,000 music lovers.
The projected boom in visitors comes after a big jump in the number of events run on public spaces in the city.
Tauranga City Council figures show the number rose from 139 in 2015/16 to 222 in the last financial year — a 60 per cent increase.
City events manager Gareth Wallis said the events calendar was looking "busier than ever".
"We are on a journey to grow Tauranga's reputation as an event-friendly and enabling city, and to support the city's event industry to deliver great social and economic benefits to residents and visitors alike."
The council also supported events through funding and promotional opportunities, he said.
Pato Entertainment promoter Pato Alvarez, who runs more than 200 concerts around New Zealand with business partner Mitch Lowe from Audilogy, estimated its Tauranga music festivals, which included One Love, Bay Dreams and Bryan Adams injected $14 million into the city last year.
Restaurants, transport and accommodation providers were big winners, he said.
But the visitor spending spinoffs were expected to jump with international headline acts like American rapper Cardi B, R&B singer Trey Songz and rock legends Toto confirmed for the city.
Alvarez said another five yet-to-be announced international bands were on their way to Tauranga early next year for a one-off show and they had a mix of international and national bands playing four events at the Soper Reserve at Mount Maunganui around Christmas and New Year's Eve.
By his calculations, the Tauranga line-ups could attract crowds of up to 86,000 between them. He said One Love was "almost sold out" and Bay Dreams Mount Maunganui had already sold out, with 30,000 tickets gone nearly five months ahead of the event.
"Every year we work really hard and, because Tauranga is our hometown, we want to bring the best events here."
Earlier this month Bay of Plenty Cricket chief executive Chris Rapson said the commercial value of having five one-day internationals — with two Black Caps matches against Sri Lanka, two against India and a White Ferns match against India — was huge.
Its summer series could mean about $20 million for the city while Bay Oval's capacity was being expanded to fit more than 10,000 people into the venue.
Hospitality New Zealand Bay of Plenty and Waikato regional manager Alan Sciascia said the summer season was always the high point of the year and businesses did gear up for it.
Bookings were already strong, he said.
"Anyone considering coming to the region over that period is best advised to book early so as to not miss out.
"Events like this are an essential part of the BOP economy and bring benefits to many, not just hospitality providers."
Tourism Bay of Plenty marketing manager Kath Low said the events over the past few years had been varied and "therefore appeal to a wide demographic".
Tauranga's image nationally and internationally was enhanced while there was no doubt the region was a favoured destination for cricket players and spectators.
"The same applies for water-based events, and more recently we have demonstrated that we are a fantastic destination for hosting international music acts."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said events were a critical element of vibrancy and were an attraction factor for any city.
"Tauranga has certainly been stepping up in this space in recent times."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said the impact to the economy was significant.
"Events are hugely important to Tauranga; they provide interest and vibrancy to citizens and visitors alike. Festivals align really well with our lifestyle here in the Bay, particularly over the summer period.
"These events give us the opportunity to showcase our great city to the world, which helps us attract new businesses and talent."