Tourism spend for Auckland is estimated at $7.4 billion for the year to September 2016, a 9 per cent increase on last year, according to information released today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
International tourists make up the bulk of the spend with $4b, a 16 per cent increase, while domestic tourists spent $3.4b, a 2 per cent increase, MBIE reported.
However, September's monthly expenditure has seen an 8 per cent drop compared with last year.
Auckland is on trend with the rest of the country with tourism earnings across New Zealand soaring this year and edging out dairy as New Zealand's top export earner for the first time since 2010.
Spending by international tourists grew by almost 20 per cent on the previous year while domestic tourism spending grew by 7.4 per cent giving the sector a $3.8b increase on last year.
Statistics New Zealand national accounts senior manager Daniel Griffiths said a strong growth in overseas visitors along with a buoyant domestic market contributed to the growth.
"Increasing visitor numbers from across key international markets, on the back of expanding airline and cruise capacity, drove the increase in spending by international tourists," Griffiths said.
By comparison, dairy earned New Zealand $12.3b in the same period.
Tourism accounted for 5.6 per cent of GDP with a direct contribution of $12.9b while directly employing 188,136 people - 7.5 per cent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand.