Foreign Travellers Spend Millions on Visa During London Olympics

The 2012 Olympic games have added around $1.4 billion to the UK tourism industry, according to a report by Visa, a US-based credit card company.

International travellers have spent an additional $716.7 million using their Visa accounts while staying in the UK for the second week of the games, from July 30 to August 5.

Foreign tourists have spent the most on services, which accounted for around $139.1 million, including items such as shoe and jewellery repairs, and spas. Entertainment accounted for around $106.6 million, including theatre tickets and other attractions, while airlines have taken around $82.4 million.

Kevin Burke, the chief marketing officer of core products, for Visa, said, ‘The Olympics are a showcase for athletics and innovation, and the same goes for tourism. It is easier than ever for international travellers safely to pay for goods and services with payment cards, contactless smart cards or mobile technology.

Visa’s spend data shows that more countries are able to take advantage of these payment innovations. Tourism is a vital component of economic growth for any nation, and it is exciting that Visa payment technology is making it possible for countries and regions around the world to have a bigger impact on the global economy.’

When viewed on a country-by-country basis, the top ten countries that featured in the report for visitor spending were the US, Japan, France, Italy, Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Germany, Canada, and Sweden.

The 2012 Olympic games have welcomed athletes from around 205 countries, to participate in 26 different sports, while around 11 million international visitors have arrived in the UK.