Tourism was worth £5.8bn to the Greater Manchester economy in 2011, up 7.8% on 2010, according to new research.
There were 77,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the GM visitor economy last year, a rise of 1,697 jobs on the previous 12 months.
The data was compiled using the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor (STEAM), which uses a range of sources including hotel occupancy rates, room rates, surveys and figures for tourist attractions and tourist information centres.
Greater Manchester now attracts 8.8m overnight visitors a year and 91.4m day trippers. Visit Britain recently confirmed that Manchester has maintained its position as the third most popular destination in the UK for international visitors to Britain with more than 1m international visitors a year to Greater Manchester.
Paul Simpson, managing director of Visit Manchester, said: "Tourism has long been a key economic driver for Greater Manchester and these figures show that during tough economic times the industry has not only maintained its contribution to the city – but increased it.
"Tourism is a team effort. We work incredibly closely with Manchester Airport, its airline partners, hotels and visitor attractions to promote the city in key international markets where there is a propensity to visit Manchester.
"A strong partnership approach is taken right across Greater Manchester with both the public and private sector to ensure the city-region delivers a great visitor experience."