SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Today, Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), a global leader in payments, released a new report that shows the effects of mega-sporting events and the impact they have on tourism spending in the event host countries. The report analyzes Visa cardholder spending patterns, known as VisaVue Travel data, of three recent mega-events: 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa(TM), the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the Beijing 2008 Olympics Games. According to the report, events of this scale create significant increases in expenditure and give host countries a chance to shine on the global stage.
For each of the three events analyzed, there was healthy growth in Visa payment card expenditure during the event compared to the year prior:
"These three events have been catalysts of economic recovery for the host country and nations surrounding it in terms of international tourism spending. Electronic payments play a crucial role in facilitating this sustainable tourism growth. They ease the difficulties travelers face when making purchases in other countries," said Antonio Lucio, Visa's chief marketing officer.
One of the key factors for any Olympic host city and country is the legacy that is left behind. It is critical for countries to be in a position to leverage the global attention events like the Olympic Games can generate, as well as maximize investments made in preparation for the influx of inbound travelers.
FIFA World Cup
Daily Visa payment card expenditures made by all non-South Africans while in South Africa during the period from June 1, 2010 until July 31, 2010 were compared to similar data for the same two month period in 2009. As the FIFA World Cup(TM) itself lasted from June 11 to July 11, 2010, the data set provided comparative information for 10 days before and 20 days after the Cup. According to this data, the FIFA World Cup(TM) provided a platform for South Africa to showcase their nation to the world, up-leveling their global status and tourism levels increased throughout the year. While the FIFA World Cup(TM) played a significant role in the growth experienced in June and July, visitor arrivals were amplified all year. Spending levels by international Visa cardholders traveling to South Africa in December ($220M) and January ($200M) even rivaled the June ($222M) and July ($204M) World Cup months.
According to Burke, "What is particularly encouraging is the strong indication that in the mega-sporting events analyzed for this report, tourism-related spending increased substantially during the events and far beyond any increases that can be attributed to economic recovery only. This report looks to use electronic data generated from international Visa spend transactions as a way to assess visitor spending patterns in the hope that it can provide material that can help destinations in their own planning, bidding and hosting activities."
Since 1986, Visa has been a proud Worldwide Sponsor of the Olympic Games and will be the exclusive payment services sponsor and the only card accepted at match venues through 2020, including the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea and the 2020 Olympic Summer Games whose site has yet to be selected.
Visa is also one of six global FIFA Partners with global rights in the Financial Services product category to all FIFA World Cup(TM) activities. Following its debut as an official sponsor at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa(TM), Visa's FIFA sponsorship includes the rights to the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011(TM) and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil(TM).
For more information and to view the report it its entirety, please visit http://www.corporate.visa.com.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks -- VisaNet -- that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit http://www.corporate.visa.com.
1 Based on daily international Visa card spend into China August 8 - 25, 2008
2 Based on daily international Visa card spend into British Columbia, Canada February 12 - 28, 2010
SOURCE: Visa Inc.
Danielle Coan, 415-318-4104