Visitor numbers to key tourist attractions in the Bay are up almost 17 per cent, Tourism Bay of Plenty figures show.
The Attraction Monitor measure shows visitor numbers at eight local attractions and activities were up 16.8 per cent when comparing the six months to the end of April to the same period in the previous year.
The eight tourist attractions used by the monitor were Aerius Helicopters, Blokart International, Classic Flyers, Comvita Visitors Centre, Kiwi 360, Springloaded, Waimarino and White Island Tours.
Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Rhys Arrowsmith said the figures aligned with the increase of guest nights, which jumped by almost 20 per cent in March year on year and were up 86,000 compared with the first quarter of 2012.
"While we will always be known for our stunning beaches, from Waihi to Ohope, it has been encouraging to see that our visitors are active while in the region, exploring everything we have to offer, which is plenty of course," he said.
"The tourism sector has enjoyed a buoyant summer season. With the continued growth of the cruise sector and new initiatives announced last week to promote the region, there is a feeling of optimism among tourist operators."
Visits from domestic tourists rose 17.3 per cent overall, with big increases in numbers from Gisborne/Hawke's Bay (40.9 per cent), Auckland/Northland (31.2 per cent), Rotorua (30.5 per cent) and from Tauranga residents (23.6 per cent). International visits were up 5.8 per cent.