Festival-goers spent more than $16m in a matter of days while visiting Tauranga for the city's two biggest music festivals.
Tauranga businesses say the events - One Love and Bay Dreams - provided them with a massive financial boost and the city's leaders say the festivals could play a major role in the recovery of local tourism post Covid-19.
Those visiting Tauranga for One Love 2020 and Bay Dreams 2019 spent more than $16m on accommodation, food and beverage items, retail, activities and transport services, and contributed a total of 109,482 visitor nights.
The net benefit of the events themselves - once costs had been considered - had pumped more than $9m into the local economy.
A post evaluation report of Tauranga's One Love Festival released in June has found that of the 20,797 people who attended this year's two-day event, 17,996 were visitors to Tauranga who spent more than $7.2m in the city in less than three days.
Similarly, the latest report into Mount Maunganui's Bay Dreams event released by Fresh Info, found of the 29,347 attendees in 2019, 26,802 had come from outside the region, and visitors spent more than $8.8m while in the city. A separate report was not completed for the 2020 event because of similar visitor numbers.
One Love is organised by Pato Alvarez, from Pato Entertainment, and Bay Dreams is run by Alvarez, together with Mitch Lowe, from Audiology.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said the pair were bringing world-class entertainment to the city, which was vital in its growing reputation as an "exciting event destination".
"It's always useful to see quantitative data on the value that events bring to our city. The owners of these events are Tauranga locals and it's encouraging to see how their events have grown over the years – and I congratulate them on their success."
He said events such as One Love, Bay Dreams and AIMS Games were "outstanding" examples of "the economic power events can contribute to our community", also providing employment opportunities.
"Events such as Bay Dreams and One Love not only create opportunities for locals to enjoy world-class entertainment, but they also boost the local economy, by giving visitors an opportunity to enjoy our retail and hospitality offerings," Powell said.
On top of the visitor nights and financial boost, the reports also showed the majority of attendees had an improved perception of Tauranga, claimed attending improved their perception of living in Tauranga and agreed their perception of Tauranga as a place to do business had also improved.
"These findings highlight one of the many reasons why it's important as a city to attract and support events. Events are widely acknowledged as an effective way to build a city's reputation, community pride and inspire social connectivity."
Powell said the social and economic impacts identified were positive for the city because if visitors enjoyed themselves in Tauranga it typically meant return visits. As Tauranga recovered from the impacts of Covid-19, Powell said these events would help.
"Although these particular events are held during peak tourism periods, they will still be significant contributors to our local economy during the pandemic recovery period. Events such as these provide domestic visitors with another reason to visit our region, which in turn will help support our hospitality and accommodation sectors, both of which have been significantly impacted by Covid-19."
"Despite the challenges they are facing in light of this global pandemic, I salute these event organisers and the entire industry for their continued commitment to organising great events for our city."
Alvarez and Lowe said they were proud to be doing their part for the Tauranga community, and were thankful of the continued support of their events.
"We've always been excited by the idea of people gathering from around the nation to enjoy our events, and to see what this amazing city has to offer. Living local we get to see the support first hand, we have a love for all the small businesses in the area and want to see them flourish. Let's do it all again this summer," Lowe said.
"Our focus from day one has been to grow Tauranga into an event capital, with the goal that it would be recognised internationally due to the scale of artists we host. We've been honoured to be a part of the journey for many years and are proud of the economic impact it has across many sectors," Alvarez said.
Victoria Thomas, who owns Tauranga and Mount Maunganui's Pluto Juice Bar, has a stall at both the Bay Dreams and One Love festivals selling juice and smoothies, which did "amazing" business-wise.
The Mount store did particularly well when Bay Dreams was on, she said.
More than that, she said having a stall at the events was a lot of fun with good vibes and she was keen to see even more events being held in Tauranga.
"I'm all for events, anything that brings people to town ... they definitely have a positive economic impact," Thomas said.
Hotel Armitage general manager Nicolas Caffardo agrees.
"We need more events because it is a very good reason to visit the local Bay of Plenty," Caffardo said.
"The more events, the more people coming for a purpose and the better it is."
Because of their close proximity to the Tauranga Domain they were packed out during the weekend of One Love, and also had plenty of bookings during the Bay Dreams weekend.
Generally though, Caffardo said they and other Tauranga accommodation providers relied on what was happening at the Mount as that was the hot spot for visitors locally. When Mount providers filled up, he said it would trickle through to Tauranga.
Ideally, Caffardo said he would love to see more major events in Tauranga, and being spread throughout the year.
Tourism Bay of Plenty's chief executive Kristin Dunne events such as One Love and Bay Dreams acted as "fantastic incentives" to travel to Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.
"Events provide a catalyst for visitors to book a trip and plan their stay around it," Dunne said.
"There are huge flow-on effects on accommodation, hospitality, retail and tourism activities. We know that visitors who come for events wrap other experiences into their visit while they're here so the whole region benefits."
Because of this, Dunne believed the future events would "significantly contribute" to post Covid-19 Coastal Bay of Plenty's tourism restart.
"Tourism is a vital economic sector for the whole country, especially the regions of New Zealand. As New Zealand's largest export earner, tourism will be a critical component of our nation's economic recovery.
Tauranga's Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said most regions would like to host the major events if the opportunity arose and believed events would be a "key driver of domestic tourism to get more Kiwis to visit the coastal Bay of Plenty region".
The report findings:
• The net benefit of One Love 2020 was more than 4.96m.
• One Love attendees visiting Tauranga spent an average of 2.86 nights in the city, * contributing to 51,425 visitor nights.
• The net benefit of Bay Dreams, which incorporates a main event and a pre-party, was nearly 4.1m.
• 84 per cent of One Love attendees had an improved perception of Tauranga.
• 62 per cent claimed attending improved their perception of living in Tauranga.
• 51 per cent of 2020's One Love festival-goers and 61 per cent of Bay Dreams' 2019 attendees agreed their perception of Tauranga as a place to do business had improved.