The latest tourism spending data has shown Hawke's Bay is up 8 per cent compared with the year to May 2016.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment yesterday released figures which revealed the money spent by tourists in Hawke's Bay sat at an estimated $604 million for the year to May 2017 and $38 million for May alone.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the increase was a great thing for the region and reflected yet another "bump" in the growing trajectory of tourism spending.

She attributed the increase to the region's events, marketing and the unusually fine weather for the wintry month of May.


While numbers were technically down for the Hawke's Bay Marathon this year, Ms Dundas said, she was pleased to see the Bay had received good results despite this.

Often drawing large crowds and good tourism spending, she said the marathon brought more than just competitors to the region.

"Competitors have an average age of 42 years old and 60 per cent are female. So the girls come for the weekend and do food, wine and lots of shopping, often bringing friends who aren't even running," she said.

The latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates, from which the figures were drawn, were developed to create a better measurement of the value of tourism in the regions.

MBIE Manager of Sector Trends Mark Gordon said regional tourism spending information was established to help inform investment and planning in the tourism industry by providing insight into where both domestic and international tourists were spending their money.

"When it comes to the monthly expenditure, tourism spend in Hawke's Bay for the month of May 2017 is up 2 per cent compared with the month of May 2016," he said.

Ms Dundas said the figures pulled from recent data would have also been pushed by the Bay's "consistent approach" to marketing throughout the past two years, and added that the Napier Conference Centre had gone "gangbusters" since it was refurbished and reopened.

"We've also had pretty good weather for May and Kiwis do love fine weather, particularly if you come from Wellington."