More mainland tourists will be allowed to come to Hong Kong when Disneyland opens, officials confirmed yesterday. Secretary for Economic Services Stephen Ip Shu-kwan said there was great potential from the China market as mainlanders did not have to work on weekends and could use the time to visit the SAR. And unlike the Disney sites in Tokyo and Paris, the territory's relatively mild winters would provide an extra incentive. Mainlanders form 27 per cent of all tourists visiting the SAR, the daily quota for tours to the territory is 1,500 and they normally stay for three to 15 days. Speaking on Commercial Radio, Mr Ip said discussions would be held on increasing the two-way permit quota with the mainland authorities. Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has also predicted a rise in mainland tours. Commissioner for Tourism Mike Rowse said he expected an easing off of different quota schemes in the run-up to the park's scheduled opening in 2005. 'We don't want to get the illegal immigration problem out of control. We are trying to ease up so that we can benefit from bigger numbers of tourists without losing control of the situation,' Mr Rowse said. A Security Bureau spokesman said the Immigration Department had adopted a number of measures to reduce the chances of mainland tour visitors overstaying. Tourism experts said more than half of tourists to Hong Kong for the Disneyland opening could come from the mainland and Taiwan. Desmond Lee Yu-tai, International Chinese Tourist Association honorary secretary, said: 'Even without Disney, the numbers are bound to rise. With Disneyland, Hong Kong's tourist dollars will come more and more from the mainland and Taiwan.' Hong Kong Taiwan Tourist Operators' Association vice-chairman Simon Wong Yue said the Hong Kong Disney park would have to compete with the Tokyo site for more sophisticated Taiwanese tourists. Mainlanders spend an average of $4,664 a head on each visit to Hong Kong while Taiwanese spend $5,061 a head, the Hong Kong Tourist Association says.