Tourism bosses have exploded the myth that mainlanders tour Hong Kong on the cheap. The Hong Kong Tourist Association said about 30 per cent of income from tourism last year came from mainlanders. Almost 2.6 million of the 9.6 million visitors came from the mainland. 'In 1997 the average tourist spent $6,700. Visitors from the mainland spent $6,782,' an association spokesman said. Mainland tourists' spending dropped slightly below the average last year to $5,487, compared with $5,544. But the spokesman said that was probably because hotels were offering special rates over the border. While mainlanders tended to spend less on hotels, meals and tours, they did more shopping and blew more on entertainment. The daily quota of mainlanders tourists was raised from 1,100 to 1,500 last July and might be raised further.