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.
General Manager, Middle East & North Africa at Visa, Ihab Ayoub, said:
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. 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.’
Data through the Group Stage of the tournament, which includes opening day (12 June 2014) through the close of the Group Stage (26 June 2014), 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 US$1.145 million, Saudi travelers US$607,000 and visitors from the 2022 host nation Qatar have spent over US$317,000. In total travelers from Middle East countries have already spent US$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.
Total Spending Hits Record Levels
Total spend by international travelers on Visa accounts through the Group Stage hit US$188M. This represents a 152% increase year-over-year, and a 141% increase when compared to the US$78 million spent by travelers attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup during the same timeframe. The highest spending day in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil was 25 June 2014, when travelers spent US$17.4 million in one day.
Visitors from the US, followed by the UK, 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%). Ayoub said:
As the FIFA World Cup continues in July, Visa will continue to help everyone, everywhere, be a part of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.’
Visa has worked with partner organisations and service providers in Brazil to implement and manage the entire payment system infrastructure throughout all 12 FIFA World Cup venues, including deployment of more than 3,000 Visa contactless-enabled point-of-sale terminals and 75 ATMs.