Events to double income
Mayor Len Brown is predicting Auckland's tourism earnings to double in the next decade.
He told a group of tourism industry operators that he wants the visitor economy to jump from $3 billion to $6 billion in the next 10 years.
"It's totally do-able. We're in the right space to do that and more."
Mr Brown says Auckland needs to become an events city to achieve the lofty goal.
Events like stage show Mary Poppins and the Junior Rugby World Championships in 2014, which includes North Harbour Stadium, are important.
In the near future Mr Brown is predicting the V8 supercars, at Pukekohe in April, will be a big hit with the public.
"It'll be great for the city and the southern part of the region."
He says predictions about what the event will generate financially and in terms of visitor numbers are "very, very conservative".
Another factor in increasing the tourism dollar is getting a convention centre in Auckland, Mr Brown says.
With an increase in tourism comes more jobs.
"The high-tech sector is undergoing big, big growth in Auckland. But it's not a high labour-intensive sector of our economy.
"One high labour-intensive industry is tourism. That's one of the key reasons why I back this sector."
Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development tourism manager Jason Hill says the industry is in reasonable shape. The sector is holding its own in difficult economic conditions, with international and domestic arrivals both up at Auckland Airport.
And ATEED's domestic marketing campaign that aimed to bring visitors to Auckland was a success, with a 24 per cent increase in visits to aucklandnz.com, he says.