World Cup Spend Boosts Sa Economy

2nd July 2010

During the period leading up to the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup and the first week of tournament matches (June 1 through June 20), spending by international visitors in South Africa on Visa-branded payment cards exceeded US8 million (R974 million), up 54% from US million (R629 million) during the same period in 2009. The number of transactions from June 1 through June 20 was 900 000, up 60% from nearly 600 000 during the same 20 days in 2009.

The money spent by international visitors on their Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards on the first 10 days of the FIFA World Cup (Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 20) alone showed an increase of 81% over the same period in 2009.

Visa spending data indicates that the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Australia, France and Brazil have been the strongest contributors to tourism spending to date.  These five countries alone accounted for 51% of spending.

Over 90% of spending was in typical leisure and business travel categories - accommodation, restaurants, retail, auto rental and air travel. 

"You can see it for yourself on the streets and in the shopping malls of the nine host cities and now we're seeing the real-time data. The international visitors have come and they are spending with their Visa cards. The spending is spread right across the 120 000 merchants that accept Visa in South Africa," said Michael Lynch, Global Head of Sponsorship Management at Visa Inc.

"The sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is working extremely well for Visa with promotional activities occurring in close to 100 countries, involving 500 financial institutions and merchants. We also have approximately 4 000 competition prize winners coming to South Africa for the tournament and the first waves of those have had a great experience," Lynch added.