An influx of holiday-makers has overwhelmed Tauranga and Mount Maunganui retailers with a whopping $410.6 million spend-up in just one month.

The figure, released yesterday, was the total from 8m electronic transactions through the Paymark network during December and was up 9.9 per cent on the same month in 2015.

Dry Dock Cafe owner Sandra Johnson said she and her team were overwhelmed by the numbers of people pouring through the doors.

"There has been a marked difference in the volume of people compared to last year,'' she said.

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"We were flat out two weeks before Christmas, which was a surprise for that time of year, but then the past two weeks has just been madness as well.''

Ms Johnson said the cafe crowd reflected an increase in the number of people in Tauranga's CBD at this time of year.

The cafe had been closed only for Christmas Day, and she said she believed this had helped boost numbers.

"People who came in last Christmas and remembered us and came in again this year,'' she said.

Ms Johnson said yesterday was their first "normal" day but she was bracing for a second wave of holiday-makers.

Mount Mainstreet manager Ingrid Fleming said she'd had little chance to catch up with retailers because they were so busy.

"The town is absolutely crowded with people and we've got our cruise ships coming in on a regular basis. That certainly makes a difference to foot traffic.''

Ms Fleming said people tended to spend more money during their holidays. Mount Maunganui was able to reap the benefits of this, especially as there appeared to be fewer people on the beach.

"The water is a bit colder this year ... so, of course, people look for alternative choices which is probably a factor.

"I do want the weather to warm up a bit, but at the moment we are enjoying having everyone on the street.''

Nationally, Paymark processed 1.2 billion transactions for $57.4b of goods and services in 2016. Growth for the year was 6.7 per cent.