Travel Spend Climbs to Pre-Recession Levels According to Visa Insights

March 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT

Brazil proves to be a formidable contributor to the global tourism economy, increasing outbound spend by 32 percent

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 30, 2012-- Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today released its 2011 Travel Snapshot reports highlighting key spend insights from Visa account holders traveling to and from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. According to VisaVue® Travel data, Visa account holders from these countries continued to increase spend on international travel-related purchases from 2010 to 2011, building momentum toward pre-recession levels. Travelers from the United States increased tourism spend on their Visa accounts by 7 percent, those from Canada by 11 percent, and Mexico by 19 percent. Most notably, travelers from Brazil increased international travel spend on their Visa accounts by 32 percent in 2011 – 43 percent of which was in the United States.

“Visa works closely with governments and tourism entities to connect merchants to the more than 2.3 billion1 Visa global account holders and provides a convenient, secure and reliable payment experience for international travelers,” said Ava Kelly, head of global affluent and cross border initiatives at Visa Inc. “Tourism is a key contributor to economic growth so this upward trend in international travel expenditures can provide some welcome revenues for growing countries like Mexico and Brazil as well as the U.S. and Canada.”

VisaVue Travel Data Spending Trends

  • United States: Brazil and China proved to be significant corridors for travel to the United States. Visa account holders from Brazil increased spend on travel to the United States by 41 percent, from $1.9 billion in 2010 to $2.7 billion in 2011, edging out the U.K. as the second highest total contributor to U.S. tourism revenue. Visa account holders from China increased travel spend within the United States by 61 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $942 million in 2011. Similarly, Visa account holders from the United States increased travel spend in China by 27 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $941 million in 2011.
  • Canada: While Visa account holders from the United States ($3.5 billion), France ($351 million) and the United Kingdom ($348 million) remained the top three contributors to Canadian tourism, Visa account holders from China had one of the most significant increases with a 41 percent increase year over year, from $229 million in 2010 to $321 million in 2011.
  • Mexico: Visa account holders increased spending in Mexico by six percent in 2011. While Russian account holders increased travel spending in Mexico by 73 percent, travelers from South America also showed more interest in Mexico with Argentina (+58 percent), Brazil (+56 percent), Peru (+30 percent) and Colombia (+30 percent) following Russia with the greatest increases in travel spend to Mexico in 2011.
  • Brazil: While the United States remains the top destination of choice for Visa account holders from Brazil, most European nations recognized double digit increases in travel spend by Brazilian Visa account holders in 2011. Spending by Brazilian Visa account holders increased by 30 percent in France, 44 percent in Italy and 41 percent in the United Kingdom.

Visa’s suite of travel products and services advances the value and reach of electronic payments as a key component of sustainable global tourism. Visa products offer account holders peace-of-mind in knowing they have the ability to make purchases at tens of millions of merchants worldwide, access to local currencies at more than 1.9 million ATMs, the protection of Visa’s Zero Liability Policy2 for fraudulent transactions, and a range of travel perks and benefits which can save account holders time and money.

For more information on Visa’s full suite of travel products and tips for international travel payment, visit To view complete copies of the 2011 Visa Travel Snapshot reports for the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, please visit

About VisaVue® Travel Data

Visa cardholder spend data cited is based upon VisaVue Travel data. Visa introduced the VisaVue Travel tourism reporting product to U.S. tourism organizations in 2008 and has continued to provide reports to the industry on a variety of popular tourist destinations every year. For more information on VisaVue Travel and Visa's products focused on the tourism industry, please contact the VisaVue Product Office at Data included in the 2011 reports includes spending on Visa-branded payment cards by international visitors from key source countries during the calendar year 2011 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2011) and includes travel spend in Visa Europe.

About Visa

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

1 Includes Visa Europe account holders

2 Visa's Zero Liability policy covers U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM transactions, PIN transactions not processed by Visa, or certain commercial card transactions. Cardholder must notify issuer promptly of any unauthorized use. Consult issuer for additional details or visit

Source: Visa Inc.

Visa Inc.
Sarah Toffoli, 415-932-2564