In its fifth year, organisers hope the summer Food and Wine Classic! Summer will continue to bring tourists, and revenue to the region.

An increase in events each year -from 55 in 2012, to 70 on offer this year - coupled with a growing awareness of the event means ticket sales, sold out events, and revenue have risen year on year.

Last year, 80 per cent of tickets sold out in advance, with the event making $250,000 in ticket sales alone. The year before, 40 of 61 events sold out, and in 2013 ticket sales were $100,000 over budget.

It is looking as though this year's festival will continue the trend - less than a week from the start of F.A.W.C! 2016, 80 per cent of ticketed events have been sold, with over half the events completely sold out.


When asked if they were hoping to continue to beat the previous year's record, Tourism Hawke's Bay general manager Annie Dundas said "that's the plan".

"So far the ticket revenue has been higher than we've ever had for five F.A.W.C!'s, and that doesn't include walk up events," she said.

Overall there are close to 7500 tickets. Usually, around 40 per cent of ticket sales for the ten-day festival come from outside the region.

However without having done an official economic assessment it was not known how much of a boost it gaev the region's economy.

Aside from benefiting local restaurant's and businesses, Ms Dundas said those who were coming from outside the region typically spent upwards of two nights here, usually staying in commercial accommodation.

Ms Dundas and the team at Tourism Hawke's Bay have been working to expand the awareness of the event, such as working alongside the Hawke's Bay Wine Growers this year at their events around the country.

As well as dishing up a series of 'out of the box' food and wine events in stunning locations across the region, Ms Dundas thought more people were drawn to the festival because food and wine, as a reason to travel, had developed.

"Now I think people do genuinely care about where their food comes from, they want to go to restaurants, and talk with winemakers, and find out about the provenance of what they're eating," she said.

"I think Hawke's Bay does that particularly well, we've got all the right ingredients."

From the Electrolux Masterclass Series at MTG, a 'Burst of Citrus' at St Georges Restaurant, or a 'Melody of Flavours' at Linden Estate Winery, Ms Dundas said they were preparing for "another roaring F.A.W.C!"