The eight days centred on National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival holidays will bring more than half a million mainland visitors into the city and more than HK$300 million from tour groups alone, the tourism sector says - even though arrivals in the first two days were down from last year. Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents chairman Michael Wu Siu-ieng said that between 520,000 and 550,000 mainland visitors were expected to come to Hong Kong during the holiday period, up seven to 10 per cent over last year. (Despite the global credit crunch, visitor numbers last year were up 9.5 per cent from 2006.) Although more mainland visitors are visiting the city under the individual visit scheme, Wu said local travel agents were receiving 70 to 80 per cent more tour groups this year. Hong Kong Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung estimated that an average of 8,000 mainlanders will arrive daily in tour groups. He expected each visitor to spend an average of HK$4,000 to HK$5,000 over the period. The eight days would bring up to HK$320 million into the city from tour groups. Wu said hotels were doing well, with an average occupancy rate of 85 per cent. 'Many three-star hotels have as much as a 90 per cent occupancy rate.' Most mainland visitors chose to stay in these hotels. (Hotel occupancy in the first half of the year was 74 per cent, down 9 percentage points from a year earlier.) Although the number of mainland visitors entering Hong Kong on September 30 and October 1 was down by 40,000 compared with last year, Wu was confident that the number would pick up. 'The number of mainland visitors will reach a peak on October 4, 5 and 6. People tend to spend the first few days on National Day activities and to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival at home.' Tourism Board chairman James Tien Pei-chun said 16 per cent more mainland visitors came to Hong Kong last month than in September last year. Meanwhile, Consumer Council chief executive Connie Lau Ying-hing said 882 complaints had been received from mainland visitors in the first eight months of this year, an increase of 5 per cent year on year. Lau said many were related to counterfeit products, but others were from visitors unfamiliar with local retail practices. 'Many visitors are not aware that in some seafood restaurants, fresh produce and the cost of preparation of the dishes are charged separately,' she said.