Tremains Art Deco Weekend is more than a chance to dress up and sip champagne from flutes - it's a big earner for the region.

This year's event contributed $11 million to Hawke's Bay's gross domestic product, rising more than $3 million since last year and more than $6 million since 2013.

Art Deco Trust manager Sally Jackson presented an economic report to a Napier committee meeting this week.

The festivities in February attracted 3000 more people with 38,000 attending. Visitors also spent more this year - splashing out on more than 200 events, accommodation and hospitality. They spent $11.5 million, compared with $8.7 million last year.


More than 203 people were also employed throughout the weekend, up from 98 for the previous event.

A large media contingent also attended. To date, 232 visiting media have come to the region for Art Deco, in turn spreading Napier's reputation far and wide.

It was clearly working with a notable increase in international business, not only for Tremains Art Deco Weekend itself but throughout the year with more guests taking tours and trails during the past 12 months.

The positive boost was likely to continue with more independent travellers choosing Hawke's Bay as a holiday destination.

For 2015, a social media campaign was stepped up - an initiative which garnered more than 1500 extra "likes" on Facebook, while videos were viewed 30,569 times.

Entering a new market meant reaching an entirely different audience, something which saw 200 tickets sold to an inaugural youth ball.

It was hoped fresh initiatives this year would widen the pool even further - though much of the detail on those developments is still being kept under wraps.

"We have got a whole lot of new events, one thing that we struggle with is finding venues in Napier and Hastings that are large enough to host 200 to 300 people," Mrs Jackson said.


"We have been looking for some unique places to offer that experience and we have found quite a few venues that are quite outside the box but really attractive."

With event manager Jonathan Smith bringing 20 years' experience to the table, there were likely to be a few surprises among the old favourites.

She said the co-ordinated approach between Hawke's Bay Tourism and Napier City Council contributed to the growth of the event and increasing economic impact it was having on the region. The trust currently receives $59,000 a year from the council.

She told Hawke's Bay Today: "We have been working on that growth for a couple of years, the major event investment was significant in doing that. The partnership was really great, we all have a common goal of increasing tourism to Hawke's Bay and were able to focus on different areas."

Once Art Deco Weekend wraps, there is no respite for organisers who spend a full 12 months planning the next elaborate affair.

And of course, the Hawke's Bay Toyota Winter Art Deco Weekend which kicks off today.