Tourists have spent $1.5 billion in the Bay of Plenty region over the past year, up seven per cent compared to last year.

Data released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has estimated tourism spend for the region from May 2015 to April 2016 to be just over $1.5 billion.

International visitors spent $496 million while domestic tourists spent $1.1 billion.

MBIE sector trends manager Peter Ellis said this new data series provided quality and detailed information on regional spending.

"Better tourism expenditure information for the regions will help inform investment and planning in the tourism industry by providing further insights into where both domestic and international tourists are spending their money, and what their expenditure is on," Mr Ellis said.

MBIE developed the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates in consultation with tourism industry representatives to create a better measurement of the value of tourism in the regions. This new data set will replace the Regional Tourism Indicators that were developed in 2012.

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates measure the expenditure of international and domestic visitors in regions in New Zealand.

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Data users would be able to filter the information to get the data they need, including breaking down into key areas within regions, country of origin, tourism product grouping such as accommodation, passenger transport and retail sales, and by year.

The data was based on administrative transaction data.

To view the full statistics from the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates, visit the MBIE website.