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

August 1, 2012 at 7:03 PM EDT
Visitors from the United States, Japan and France Drive Largest Economic Impact
Tweet This: #Travelers Spent $700 Million USD on #Visa Accounts During #London2012 Olympic Games Opening Week

LONDON, Aug 01, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --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 biggest 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 percent of all Visa account holder spending during this time period.

Travelers from South America and Central America showed some of the largest year-over-year travel spend increases in the United Kingdom on their Visa accounts, including triple-digit increases from Nicaragua (+384%), Honduras (+338%), Guatemala (+324%), and Bolivia (+309%).

"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" ($133.7 million) - including items such as shoe and jewelry repair and spas; "Entertainment" ($95.5 million) - including theater tickets and other attractions; "Airlines" ($82.9 million); "Other Retailers" ($71.8 million) - including bike shops, book stores, antique shops, and drug stores and more; and "Hotels" ($69.3 million).

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



    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 percent of the total amount spent on Visa accounts in the United Kingdom during this time period.

Top Five Travel Spend Percentage Increases on Visa Accounts for South American and Central American Countries During Week One of the Games (Throughout the United Kingdom)


South America



    % change over 2011
1     Bolivia     +309%


3     Uruguay     +103%
4     Peru     +97%
5     Colombia     +70%

Central America

Ranking     Country/Territory     % change over 2011
1     Nicaragua     +384%
2     Honduras     +338%
3     Guatemala     +324%
4     Belize     +242%
5     El Salvador     +138%

For more information on Visa travel products and tips for international travel payment, visit

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 (415) 244-9857 or in the UK (0)7725 059 778. More information and assets are available at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

SOURCE: Visa Inc.

Contacts, Press & Analysts Only:
In the UK:
Visa Inc.
Ryan Donovan, 650-483-9945
UK Mobile: (0)7725 059 781
In the USA:
For Visa Inc.
Danielle Coan, 415-318-4104
For Visa Inc.
Brett Cummings, 212-453-2469