Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), the global leader in payments, released the second installment of the Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. The report, which analyzes travel data and spending through the use of Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards, found that some smaller Brazilian cities, which are hosting tournament games, realized some of the most signficant increases in spending by international travelers.
Data through the Group Stage of the tournament, which includes opening day (June 12) through the close of the Group Stage (June 26), revealed triple-digit increases in spending, compared to the same period last year, in cities such as Natal (+851%); Cuiaba (+963%); Curitiba (+167%); and Manaus (+409%).
The research also showed that the UAE is ranked 30th in the list of global spenders at the World Cup with Saudi Arabia in 39th spot and Qatar 53rd. UAE travelers have spent $1.145 million, Saudi travelers $607,000 and visitors from the 2022 host nation Qatar have spent over $317,000. In total travelers from Middle East countries have already spent $2.7 million since the tournament kicked off.
The figures represent an overall increase in spending of some 419% by travelers from the region compared to the same period last year – well ahead of the global increase of 152% and demonstrating the passion for football that exists within the Middle East region.
“The group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil has shown that international tourism was strong well beyond the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, as fans traveled throughout Brazil to support their teams. But what has been significant for us has been the enthusiasm shown by visitors from the Middle East region despite not having a team competing,” said Ihab Ayoub, General Manager for Middle East and North Africa at Visa.
“The fact that these games are bringing positive economic impact to regions of Brazil typically less visited by international travelers, is another sign of success for the tournament overall.”
Total Spending Hits Record Levels
Total spend by international travelers on Visa accounts through the Group Stage hit US$188M. This represents a 152 percent increase year-over-year, and a 141 percent increase when compared to the US$78M spent by travelers attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM during the same timeframe. The highest spending day in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was June 25, when travelers spent US$17.4M in one day.
Visitors from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, France, and Mexico represented the largest overall tourist spend in Brazil. The most significant spending increases were seen from countries such as Australia (+835%); Colombia (+765%); Chile (+519%) and Mexico (+396%).
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