More tourists from the United States and Japan have seen visitor arrivals hit a record for May at 161,400.
In the year to the end of May, visitor arrivals were up 6 per cent to almost 2.8 million, according to Statistics NZ figures.
Visitor arrivals are up despite the high New Zealand dollar.
"Visitor arrivals are higher than they have ever been for a May month," Statistics NZ population statistics project manager Susan Hollows said. "Holidaymakers arriving from the United States and Japan contributed to the increase in visitors in May."
New Zealanders too more than 198,000 overseas trips in May, up 9 per cent from the same month last year.
For the 12 months to May, New Zealanders took 2.3 million overseas trips, up 3 per cent.