Boosted by Auckland's busiest summer ever, record numbers of international and domestic visitors to the city contributed $6.5 billion to the local economy.
The Regional Tourism Estimate figures released today by Statistics New Zealand showed the record-breaking $6.5 billion of tourism was split almost equally between international and domestic guests.
The total tourism expenditure in Auckland increased by 15 per cent in the 12 months to March, with international visitors contributing $3.227 billion and domestic visitors $3.268 billion.
The Cricket World Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, NRL Nines and a number of concerts in the city during the summer months contributed to what Jason Hill, general manager of Destination at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), called the busiest summer on record.
"We did have the largest summer of events we've ever had in Auckland."
The major events generated more than 426,500 visitor nights with more than two million people attending the events, according to ATEED figures.
Auckland also featured in The Lonely Planet's travel guide to the top ten cities in the world, which lifted the international profile of the city, Hill said.
"I think we're really starting to grow that awareness that Auckland is a truly international city and people are starting to spend longer in Auckland, rather than using it as a gateway like they were a few years ago."
International spending was up 18 per cent, and the domestic expenditure increased by 8 per cent.
More than two million people came to Auckland from overseas and Hill said this figure showed no sign of dropping.
"We've got quite a large number of new airline seats coming on in Auckland in the next two to three months... We're going through a period of unprecedented airline capacity growth, which is only going to bode well for future growth."
Hill was pleased to see a 13 per cent growth on how much people were spending on attractions and activities.
"Auckland traditionally hasn't had a huge number of attractions and activities compared to Queenstown and Rotorua... The upwards cycle is creating that new investment into the sector."
One of the new investers in tourism attractions includes Gavin Oliver, managing director of EcoZip Adventures.
He said his business, based on Waiheke Island, has seen fantastic growth since beginning in 2012.
"The Auckland tourism industry has every right to be proud of these excellent results. The 2015 season for EcoZip marked an upturn in both revenues and yield and this season we're already experiencing consistent, double-digit growth."
Mayor Len Brown said the effort had been made across the entire tourism industry.
"This unprecedented year of events, along with regular proactive tourism marketing campaigns, a growing business events sector, record numbers of international students studying in Auckland, and increases in air capacity have all played a significant role in achieving these results.
"It's truly been an industry wide effort and the flow-on effects from the visitor economy can already been seen throughout the city with new developments to support better infrastructure, more investment and most importantly more jobs for the Auckland economy."
SkyCity Auckland Hotels and Sky Tower General Manager, Bradley Burnett, said the company had experienced strong growth across the entire site.
"And now as we head into FY15 Sky Tower visitation is up 7 per cent compared to the same period last year, which is a positive indication as we head into the busy summer season.
"Our SkyCity hotels also continue to perform strongly with both enjoying a lift in rates, which is consistent with what we're seeing across Auckland, while also running at capacity."