A shortage of hotels and motels is posing a threat to the tourism boom, a commercial real estate company, Colliers International, says.
Figures show patronage of commercial accommodation rose 7 percent on a year ago to record levels in July, driven largely by foreign tourists, of whom there were more than 3.3 million in the past year.
Colliers said three big sporting events next year - the Lions Tour, the World Veteran Games and the Rugby League World Cup - would heap further pressure on a sector, which was close to capacity.
Colliers' hotel division director Dean Humphries said in the short term there was a need to move tourists away from pressure points such as Auckland and Queenstown.
But he said in the longer term there was no alternative but to build and build quickly.
"It is imperative now that the government and the private sector work together to get new infrastructure and new inventory and improvements in our roading networks together for what we see as a sustainable influx of tourists over the short, medium to long term," he said.