Updated on November 6, 2023 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Tourism helps power Auckland’s emergence as a global city and fulfill the unique potential of Tāmaki Makaurau’s strong Māori identity and tourism offering. Auckland is New Zealand’s most populous city and is a multi-cultural hub of food, music, arts, and culture.

Also known as Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland sprawls over volcanic hills and around twin harbors, offering an exhilarating mix of natural wonders and urban adventures.

Auckland offers an urban environment where most people live within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and a dozen enchanting holiday islands.

More than just a city, Auckland is a whole region full of things to see and do.

Here are some of the city’s tourism trends and statistics


  • Auckland is home to landmarks such as the Sky Tower, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Harbour Bridge, parks, restaurants, theatres, many museums, and two scenic harbours.
  • It also hosts a range of iconic cultural and sporting events, most notably the America’s Cup 2021. In 2019.
  • In 2019, Auckland reached the 80th place among the world’s most popular cities with 2.93 million tourists.
  • Auckland received a substantial 2.75m international visitor arrivals and 5.47m domestic overnight visits. These generated a total of 7.56m commercial bed nights and total tourism spend of $8.6 billion.
  • Almost 80% of its international arrivals were from Australia, followed by the United Kingdom (4%) and the United States (3%).
  • Auckland’s tourism sector has averaged 8.4% growth over the last ten years and has also averaged 6.6% growth in international visitor arrivals per annum over the last five years.
  • In 2019, Auckland’s tourism sector made up 29% of New Zealand’s regional tourism spendand employed an average of 65,973 people in Auckland (i.e., 7.3% of Auckland’s total employment)
  • In 2018, the city held a total of 14,584 business events.
  • Many tourists travel considerable distances through the country during their stays, typically using coach lines or hired cars.
  • The months between December and February comprise Auckland’s peak travel season.


  • The majority of international visitors to Auckland visit for holiday reasons. Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) was the primary reason for domestic visitation to Auckland.
  • Of the international visitors on holiday in Auckland in 2019, a quarter (25%) of these visitors visited Auckland only on their trip.While the majority of domestic visitors on holidays (71%) visited Auckland only on their trip.
  • The most popular activity is going to beaches, particularly for domestic tourists. Also popular are various scenic trips, bush walks, wildlife and adventure activities.
  • More international visitors experienced Māori cultural attractions in Central Auckland compared to domestic visitors.
  • In the year to December 2019, the total satisfaction with the overall visitor experience in Auckland was 7.8 out of 10.
  • In general, international visitors were more satisfied with all aspects of their visitor experience in Auckland than domestic visitors.


  • In New Zealand, domestic tourism spending still exceeds that of international tourism.
  • In the year to March 2020, domestic tourists spent $24.4 billion compared to $17.5 billion spent by international tourists.
  • New Zealand markets itself abroad as a “clean, green” adventure playground.
  • Tourism New Zealand‘s main marketing slogan, “100% Pure New Zealand“, reflects this), emphasizing as typical tourist destinations nature areas such as Milford Sound, Abel Tasman National Park, and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing; while activities such as bungee jumping or whale watching exemplify typical tourist attractions, marketed primarily to individual and small-group travelers.
  • The vast majority of international tourist arrivals to New Zealand come through Auckland Airport, which handled 11.5 million international passengers in 2019.
  • Auckland is the largest hotel market in New Zealand, accounting for 32% of total hotel room nights sold in 2018.
  • The region with the highest average length of stay of domestic visitors was Central Auckland, with an average of 2.1 nights.
  • Sequentially, domestic visitors stayed 0.7 nights in North Auckland, followed by 0.6 nights in Hauraki Gulf and Islands, 0.5 nights in South Auckland, 0.4 nights in East Auckland, and 0.2 nights in West Auckland.
  • Other types of accommodation such as private homes and Airbnb, etc. are very popular amongst domestic and international visitors to Auckland, particularly those staying in North, East, South, and West Auckland.
  • In August 2019, the accommodation capacity in hotels in Auckland was 318.9 thousand.
  • The average daily rate (ADR) for hotels in the year 2019 was $203.
  • Auckland hotels have continued to achieve the highest AOR, despite also having experienced the strongest decrease in both AOR and ADR in the year ended April 2019.
  • The major challenge facing the country’s hotel industry is the imbalance between the timing of new hotel room supply and the rate of increase in visitor night growth, particularly in Auckland.
  • For the cruise year 2017/18, a substantial 269,600 unique passenger arrivals visited Auckland.
  • International visitor arrivals to New Zealand are forecast to reach 5.1 million visitors in 2024 (from 3.7 million in 2017, up 37.1%). This equates to a growth rate of 4.6% per year.
  • Australia is New Zealand’s largest visitor market, accounting for 24% of international expenditure in 2018. China, at 15%, is the second-largest market. Approximately 60% of international visitor expenditure comes from our top four countries of origin (Australia, China, the USA, and the UK).
  • China is expected to become New Zealand’s largest tourism market by spend at the end of the forecast period, reaching $3.1 billion annually by 2024.
  • China’s visitor numbers are expected to reach 800,000 by the end of the forecast period.
  • China is expected to contribute 27.4% of total international visitor growth from 2017 to 2024, and 38% of total visitor spending.
  • New Zealanders made over 3.1M international trips in the year ending December 2019.
  • The inhabitants of New Zealand spend only around 1,281 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.
  • On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2018 spent about 2,402 US Dollars.
  • Adventure tourism is still unchecked, but the tourism board has been trying for several years to attract mainly well-heeled short vacationers. Thus there is also an ever-increasing number of 5-star hotels throughout the country.