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Statistics NZ said in the year to April, 3.6 million visitors arrived in New Zealand, up 10% on last year.
The record figure was largely pushed up by 35,000 more holiday-makers arriving in April this year compared to April 2016, population statistics senior manager Peter Dolan says.
Visitors also pumped $10 billion into the New Zealand economy in the year to March, according to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures also released on Thursday.
That figure was down 2% for the year, but came after a period of "very strong growth'' and had also taken a hit due to a strong New Zealand dollar, MBIE said.
"Over the last three years, international visitor spending has grown, with the total spend up 49% over the period.
"Spending growth was strongest in China with growth of 88% over the three years, while the USA and Korea grew at 61% and 60% respectively.''
Growing pressure on infrastructure from booming tourist numbers prompted the Government this month to launch a $100 million fund to help struggling local councils build new car parks, toilets and freedom-camping facilities.
It has not all been one-way traffic though, with Kiwis taking a record 2.7million trips overseas in the year to April, up 11% on last year, according to Stats NZ.
Meanwhile, net migration figures for the year to April remained at March's record 71,900 - with 129,800 arrivals and 57,900 departures.
Those figures were heavily contributed to by student visas, Mr Dolan said.
"Almost one in five migrant arrivals for the last 12 months were people coming to New Zealand to study,'' he said.
"Student arrivals from Asia dominated the overall student migrant arrivals, contributing almost three-quarters of the total.''