A record 360,000 visitors - more than half of them from the mainland - will come to the SAR over the Lunar New Year holidays, generating $1.6 billion in revenue for the local economy, the Hong Kong Tourism Board said yesterday. Executive director Clara Chong Ming-wah said an estimated 200,000 of the visitors in the first seven days of the Lunar New Year were expected to be from the mainland. This represented a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, she said. According to board data, tourists spend an average of $4,532 each during their week's stay, meaning $1.63 billion in tourism receipts could be generated during the holiday season. The board said the surge of visitors from the mainland was to be expected in light of the lifting of visitor quotas last year. 'Although quotas for mainland tours to Hong Kong was abolished in January last year, the actual impact was seen much later as it took time for things to be filtered through,' its assistant manager Simon Clenell said. Moreover, when the quotas were dropped, there were only four mainland travel agencies running Hong Kong tours compared to the current 528, he added. Hong Kong has also been sold more aggressively as a tourist destination. Arrivals from the mainland in the first 11 months of last year totalled 6.07 million, up 52.1 per cent from same period in 2001. The board also announced yesterday that its Lunar New Year parade would take place on February 1 along the Wan Chai waterfront. The parade will feature 12 floats and 38 performing groups, compared to 22 floats and 38 performing groups last year. 'The economy certainly has something to do with fewer number of floats this year but most of all, it is a conscious effort on our part to make the whole parade more compact,' Mr Clennell said. 'Its duration has been cut from about two hours and 15 minutes to 90 minutes. Last year, we got some feedback that it was rather too long.' The 2km-long parade will start at the Tamar site and wind around the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.