Labour Weekend festivities are being welcomed by sector leaders after what has been described as an "exceptionally challenging year for everyone".
With alert level 1 in full swing, a number of events are planned to take place in the city over the long weekend.
From the popular Blues Festival to a grub-filled mud run that attracts hundreds to the city, the weekend is set to be a cracker.
The Rotorua Loaded Tough Guy & Gal challenge is gearing up to take place on Sunday at Lakes Ranch in Tikitere.
The event has up to 1000 competitors and is a mud run event involving swamp crossings, a spider's web net climb, crawling under barb wire and even a large climbing frame.
Event director Murray Fleming said it was "just brilliant" to be able to hold another big event in the city after what had been an "exceptionally challenging year for everyone".
He said it was one of the first events the city had been able to hold since March 1.
"Competitors are stoked to be back but numbers have definitely been down. Look at the international news media, no one else can do it."
Meanwhile, across town cyclists competing in the popular Emerson's Whaka 100 would be facing their own challenge in one of the toughest mountain bike marathons in the Southern Hemisphere.
The event runs both Saturday and Sunday and brings bike fanatics alike to the city to give it a go.
Riders can do the 25km, 50km or 100km tracks, while kids can give a 5km a crack, as well as a women's only 10km option.
For people looking for more relaxing events, the Rotorua Blues Festival at the Social Club, Citizens Clubs and on Eat Streat
will run at different times throughout the weekend.
And the Lake Tarawera annual Spring Fair will take place at Stoney Point Reserve from 10am on Sunday.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard said in normal times, Rotorua experiences an influx of domestic visitors during long weekends and this had been even more so since the advent of Covid.
"If previous trends are followed, Rotorua will be in for a busy time."
He said some tourism and hospitality businesses had been calling for additional one-off special holidays to help the sectors during Covid.
"These businesses will be looking to Labour Weekend with anticipation."
Aura Accommodation director Nick Fitzgerald said it was looking like "a busy one" - a welcomed relief after a "difficult year" filled with so much "uncertainty".
After a "buoyant" school holidays, Fitzgerald said they were excited to get more guests back and feel the "travel confidence" sweep over the country again.
"This year has thrown so many curveballs our way, so we've just been learning how to stay on our feet and adjust."
They were noticing that people had started booking at much shorter notice than previous years as they were usually booked up for Labour Weekend months in advance, he said.
He put that down to general uncertainty, as well as common long weekend events being cancelled, he said.
Destination Rotorua chief executive Andrew Wilson said the weekend was "looking strong" and that traditionally long weekends always gave Rotorua a "great economic lift".
"Our expectations are that this one will too. Long weekends have always been more focused on the domestic visitor than international and now is no different."
He said Rotorua had a "well-founded reputation for delivering exceptional weekend experiences" with repeat visitors often coming back year on year.
"It's difficult to benchmark visitor spend against Labour Weekend last year as there have been so many changes to our tourism environment, it's like comparing apples with oranges.
"But this weekend, like all long weekends, provide our local businesses with a positive boost and in this current economic climate, all boosts are vital."
Wilson said the long weekend was the "beginning of our summer" and "we look forward to starting off on the right foot".
The rain was looking to hold off both Saturday and Sunday with mild spring highs of 20C and 21C respectively, however, there was a possible shower or two expected across the weekend, according to MetService.
Monday was expected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 22C, it said.