Rotorua is estimated to have earned more than $11 million from one rugby match when the British and Irish Lions' tour came to town.

An economic impact and benefits analysis of the series done by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows direct and indirect tourism benefits to Rotorua was $10.3m while another $800,000 came from hosting and leverage.

That made Rotorua the third highest earning region from the tour, after Auckland and Wellington.

The report was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to measure the impact of the series on New Zealand and the host city economies.

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Destination Rotorua consumer marketing manager Tom Worsp said events like the Lions tour had a major impact on the economy and visitor perceptions of the destination.

"It's great to see that $11.1m was injected into the Rotorua economy from the event and in addition to this it helped give the city a vibrancy and festival atmosphere for a large portion of the Lions tour."

More than 28,000 rugby fans swarmed the city last June when the Lions took on the Maori All Blacks at Rotorua International Stadium.

Of those 72 per cent came from around New Zealand, 11 per cent were international and the remaining 17 per cent were local or uncounted.

According to the report each of the 20,203 domestic visitors that came for the game spent an average of $170 each.

The largest portion of that, 36 per cent, was spent at restaurants, bars and cafes.

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That was followed by 28 per cent on accommodation, 17 per cent on expenses at the match and the remaining amount on groceries, car hire, public transport, shopping, domestic airfares and attractions.

"It was fantastic to see other events like the Guinness World Record Haka attract thousands to The Village Green."

A survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed 19 per cent of the visitors attended the Rotorua Night Market, 17 per cent visited Rainbow Springs and 8 per cent attended the Giant Haka.

"Not only do these visitors attend the game but they eat in our restaurants, stay in accommodation, drink in our bars, shop in our supermarkets, use our petrol stations and visit the many activities and attractions on offer in Rotorua so the economic benefit is felt widely through the community."

Rotorua made up 7 per cent of all total guest nights across the country, with 35,460.

The major contributors to the overall GDP were accommodation and food and beverages which came to $3.2m and $2.7m respectively.

The Pig and Whistle's Jack Andrew (left) and Herbie Mitchell were two of the more than 28,000 rugby fans who came to Rotorua for the Lions tour. Photo/File
The Pig and Whistle's Jack Andrew (left) and Herbie Mitchell were two of the more than 28,000 rugby fans who came to Rotorua for the Lions tour. Photo/File

Hennessy's Irish Bar owner Reg Hennessy was one of many to reap the benefits of the Lions visitors and said the figures weren't surprising.

"It took a while to all kick off, but they flooded in from the Wednesday before the game and it just never stopped.

"It was beyond all figures, if I gave the exact number people probably wouldn't believe it, but it was two months of takings, in one night."

Hennessy said the visitors peaked again between the Wellington and Auckland games when supporters were making their way up the country.

"It's a really strong event, rugby is so close to the heart of all New Zealanders.

"We were doing a similar turnover to St Paddy's day on a Monday or Tuesday night."

He said he would welcome the Lions back to New Zealand and would keep his fingers crossed Rotorua could get another game.

"To get all of these events is something pretty special."

Rotorua Lakes Council project manager markets, festivals, events, arts and culture Brigitte Nelson said the fact so many people visited the Night Market was great.

Lions Tour by the numbers
• The Rotorua economy gained an estimated $11.1m.
• There were 162 fulltime equivalent jobs.
• That made up part of the $110m made nationally.
• Rotorua had 7 per cent of the international guest nights, with 35,460 guest nights.
• There were 28,193 people at the game.
• 72 per cent were domestic visitors, 11 per cent international and the remainder either local or uncounted.
• Domestic tourists spent $170 per night.
• 36 per cent was on restaurants, bars or cafes, 28 per cent on accommodation, 17 per cent on expenses at the match and the remainder on groceries, car hire, public transport, shopping, domestic airfares and attractions.
•Of the GDP the two largest contributors were accommodation, $3.2m and food and beverages $2.7m.
• 19 per cent of people in Rotorua for the series visited the Rotorua Night Market, 17 per cent visited Rainbow Springs and 8 per cent attended the Giant Haka.