HONGKONG'S receipts from tourism grew 22.2 per cent last year to $48.39 billion, an increase of $8.7 billion over 1991. The Hongkong Tourist Association (HKTA) believes the industry has held its position as the third largest earner of foreign exchange in the territory. HKTA chairman Martin Barrow said: ''We are pleased that tourism receipts showed such positive growth to achieve a new record, particularly in the face of stiff competition from other travel destinations.'' Spending by visitors from most major markets grew, with Taiwan registering the most impressive increase, 67.8 per cent to $11.8 billion. Last year the Taiwanese spent slightly more than $7 billion in Hongkong. The more favourable exchange rate of the New Taiwan dollar to the Hongkong dollar was cited as a factor for the increase in Taiwanese spending. More people travelled specifically to Hongkong for leisure, business and to visit friends and relatives rather than calling in the territory en route to other destinations. This category of visitors comprised 86.6 per cent compared with 81.2 per cent in 1991. Spending by visitors specifically to Hongkong rose by 33.2 per cent to $7.21 billion. Spending by visitors from Southeast Asia rose 35.3 per cent to $8.2 billion. Per capita spending increased by 11.1 per cent to $6,656. Numbers rose by 21.9 per cent. The territory also received more visitors from Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The increases were: Western Europe, up by 15 per cent to $5.8 billion; the US and Canada, 6.7 per cent to $5.3 billion; and Australia and New Zealand, 1.4 per cent to $2.1 billion. The figure for the traditionally big-spending Japanese was 1.6 per cent down to $9 billion, reflecting the continuing recession there. Shopping topped the list of expenditure, with visitors spending $24.8 billion, an increase of 23.5 per cent.