SOUTHERN Gold Coast traders shared in $1.74 million in visitor expenditure during the Bleach Surfing the Fringe festival last month, according to Destination Research and Development.
It's a figure festival organisers hope to build upon as the event cements itself as a permanent fixture on the Queensland events calendar.
Almost 30,000 people attended the festival over 16 days despite some poor weather.
Festival director Louise Bezzina said she was overwhelmed by the response.
"It was extremely well received and really put the southern Gold Coast on the cultural map," Ms Bezzina said.
Plans to improve the festival in 2013 include consolidating the visual arts and gallery program, reviewing some of the boutique pop-up style events and focus on greater artist collaboration between local and interstate artists.
Connecting Southern Gold Coast chair Murray D'Almeida said the event "exceeded all expectations."
"The confidence of the Gold Coast City Council in supporting this economic driver and cultural festival as well as our sponsors and volunteers was vindicated by the outstanding acclaim the event received locally and nationally."
Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Gail O'Neill said it was an excellent figure for an event in its inaugural year.
"It won't be going anywhere, there's a lot of support for it from the council and from Connecting Southern Gold Coast," Ms O'Neill said.
"The traders really did take ownership before the event even started, which is a credit to Louise."