If you want to see the economic importance of tourism and population growth then take a look at the latest retail numbers.
Statistics New Zealand says total electronic card spending in July was $4.8 billion. That was an increase of 5.8 percent ($267 million) from July of last year.
A big driver of that was spending on hospitality. It rose by 18 percent, or $139 million, from July 2015.
But spending on fuel fell by 8.6 percent, or $54 million, compared to July 2015.
The drop in fuel spending was due to lower petrol prices, which were down 10 percent last month.