Rotorua is set for a bumper summer season of events with one organiser saying the town has been "humming" as the weather warms up.
Weekend markets, summer festivals, Christmas gatherings and sports events will fill every weekend in the city right through to the end of March.
More than 40,000 people were expected to attend the events, according to the Rotorua Lakes Council.
The Government is investing $3.75 million for regional events in Rotorua, Taupō, Waikato and Ruapehu.
Local regional tourism organisations, alongside their council partners, have worked together to develop a collaborative regional events investment plan for the next two to three years to bring more visitors to their regions.
The fund is intended to replace some of the spending by international tourists lost as a result of Covid-19.
Most of the money will be contestable and successful events will be supported over a three-year period. The focus will be on developing new and expanding existing events.
Event manager at local company Dominate Events Tia Smith said she never would have expected that the local industry would be booming like it is after the world turned "upside-down".
She said Covid-19 had taught everyone to "expect the unexpected" and it was warming to see how ahead New Zealand was compared to the rest of the world.
Events attracted people to the region had been "humming" as the weather warmed up. Eat Street was packed most weekends and shops and cafes were filling up, she said.
The social and economic impact of events was "huge" and she said it was great to see people coming together after such a difficult year.
Events brought people from all over the country, she said.
There was a "huge appetite" for events post-Covid and the industry came to the party with new and innovative ideas, she said.
Covid-19 had added a new layer of planning and risk but it was one that many organisers were embracing, she said.
Many were looking at Rotorua as a hot spot and choosing to bring events to the city because of support from the council, the demand and facilities, she said.
"We are in for a really exciting summer."
The Good Vibes Winter Festival in July was the "first major event" in the city post-lockdown, bringing close to 3000 people down to Rotorua's Village Green in July to bop to Kiwi bands including L.A.B, Sons of Zion, Katchafire, Three Houses Down and General Fiyah.
Demand for the festival was huge and tickets sold out months in advance.
The summer leg of the festival will be held at the same spot on December 27.
Old and new acts would take the stage, including Katchafire, House of Shem and Tomorrow People.
Other events included the ever-popular Christmas Parade, the Kuirau Park Saturday Markets, Music at the Band Rotunda, Tarawera Ultramarathon and Frocks on Bikes.
After the funding announcement, Destination Rotorua chief executive Andrew Wilson said a strong events industry played a key role in the city's economy.
"Events add to the vibrancy of Rotorua and attract visitors from out of town who also spend money on accommodation, hospitality, retail and attractions while they are here".
Tourism New Zealand research indicated that up to one-third of domestic travel was primarily driven by people looking to participate in events.
Event manager Alia Branson, from Boost Fundraising and Events, said Rotorua was lucky to be back in the events sector post-Covid, and that it was pretty special to be one of few countries, let alone cities, able to.
"It's definitely challenging. There's a lot we've lost off the calendar for this 2020/2021 summer from the likes of lack of funding available and uncertainty.
"But we are getting back into it and I think the public is crying out for it."
She said events were "absolutely, hands down, without a doubt", vital to Rotorua's economy, not just from a cash point of view, but also for wellbeing too.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said it was great to see a number of events come to town as it helped "compensate for the tourism and hospitality Covid-induced shortfall".
"The more the merrier!"