International Travellers Spent US$700 Million on Their Visa Accounts During Opening Week of London 2012 Olympic Games

Aug 01, 2012, 19:30 ET from VISA Canada Corporation

Travellers Significantly Impact International Tourism Economy

TORONTO, Aug. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - According to Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), international visitors to the London 2012 Olympic Games spent nearly US$700 million on their Visa accounts during the opening week (July 23-29). The top five Visa spenders were from the United States, followed by Japan, France, Italy, and Australia. Visitors in the United Kingdom from these five countries accounted for more than 36 per cent of all Visa account holder spending during this time period.

Canadian visitors ranked as the ninth largest Visa spenders during the first week of the Olympic Games, behind visitors from the United States, Japan and France and ahead of visitors from Sweden.

"As a proud sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games for 26 years, Visa worked closely with the United Kingdom's tourism and government bodies to ensure a safe, convenient and reliable experience for those traveling to the Olympic Games to cheer on their team and country," said Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products, Visa Inc. "It's impressive to see travelers from around the world transacting with one payment brand in multiple forms. With more than 3,000 contactless terminals installed across Olympic Games venues that accept prepaid, contactless payments, mobile technologies, and other payment innovations, the Olympic Games gives Visa an opportunity to extend its sponsorship to directly benefit account holders worldwide."

Spending categories that experienced the greatest activity include "Services" (US$133.7 million) - including items such as shoe and jewelry repair and spas; "Entertainment" (US$95.5 million) - including theater tickets and other attractions; "Airlines" (US$82.9 million); "Other Retailers" (US$71.8 million) - including bike shops, book stores, antique shops, and drug stores and more; and "Hotels" (US$69.3 million).

Top Ten Contributors to Spend on Visa Accounts by Country/Territory During Week One of the Games (Throughout the United Kingdom)

Ranking Country/Territory Total Spend (USD) % of Total
1 United States $85.5 million 12%
2 Japan $50.9 million 7%
3 France $41.5 million 6%
4 Italy $39.5 million 6%
5 Australia $35.3 million 5%
6 Republic of Ireland $32.4 million 5%
7 Spain $31.1 million 4%
8 Germany $30.9 million 4%
9 Canada $24.1 million 3%
10 Sweden $23.4 million 3%

The top 10 contributing countries accounted for 57 per cent of the total amount spent on Visa accounts in the United Kingdom during this time period.

For more information on Visa travel products and tips for international travel payment, click here.

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About Visa Inc.: 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

For further information concerning Visa's sponsorship of the Olympic Games, please contact Nancy Panter at +1 (415) 244-9857 or in the UK (0)7725 059 778. More information and assets are available at

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation