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’s 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.
Statistics New Zealand's Neil Kelly says "People spent more on accommodation and on food and drinks in restaurants and takeaway shops."
However the big spending was countered by a drop in 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.
On a monthly basis spending on hospitality rose 2.9 percent ($26 million), while spending on fuel fell by 3.6 percent ($21 million).
Statistics New Zealand says core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 0.7 percent in July 2016, after a 1.1 percent increase in June.