Saudi, UAE visitors biggest spenders at World Cup
Riyadh, June 25, 2014
The visitors from the GCC have spent more than $500,000 during the four-day ((June 12 - June 15) opening period of the 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil, said a report.
The expenditure represents a five-fold increase over the same four-day period last year, and 47 per cent more when compared to the opening four-day period of the Confederations Cup (June 15 -June 18, 2013), reported the Saudi Gazette, citing the data from global payments leader Visa.
The football fans from the UAE and Saudi Arabia were the biggest spenders, accounting for about 70 per cent of the total $500,000 spent in the first four days.
The "Visa Everywhere Travel Report for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil" analyzes the travel data and cross border spend on all Visa products, including credit, debit and prepaid payment cards.
The global attraction of the FIFA World Cup - and growing confidence and understanding of the convenience of electronic payment platforms - has combined to see the enormous increase in card usage from the GCC region, said the report.
The GCC spending was part of a total spending of $27 million from global visitors to Brazil during the 4-day opening period of the tournament.
Visitors from the US followed by the UK, France and Mexico represented the largest overall tourist spend in Brazil during the four-day period. On Saturday (June 14) alone international travelers to Brazil spent more than $10.7 million using Visa products. This was the highest tourist spend day in the country in 2014, the report added.
Visitors spent the most in categories such as lodging and accommodation, which accounted for $5 million, and in local restaurants at $2.5 million of the total international spend.
The impact of GCC visitors reflects a combination of a huge passion for football in the region combined with direct flights to Brazil and a growing confidence in using cashless payments - especially in Saudi Arabia, the report added.