sa tills ring cup revenue

AN INCREASE of 54% in visitor spending in 2010 compared to 2009 has seen about R338million being pumped into the economy, new cardholder spending data from Visa Inc showed yesterday.

AN INCREASE of 54% in visitor spending in 2010 compared to 2009 has seen about R338million being pumped into the economy, new cardholder spending data from Visa Inc showed yesterday.

The data showed that there have been an average of 45000 transactions a day in the first three weeks of June.

The visitor spending, said Visa, was related to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

SA Tourism also said yesterday that tourism from the World Cup is expected to rake in an estimated R27billion.

It had initially been thought that SA would not gain as much as had been anticipated before the World Cup after statements by some tourism authorities that the number of expected visitors would be lower.

The Visa data showed that during the period leading up to the kickoff of the World Cup and the first week of tournament matches, spending by international visitors on Visa-branded payment cards exceeded R974million.

It was up 54percent from R629million for the same period in 2009. Money spent by international visitors on their Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards on the first 10 days of the World Cup - between June 11 and June 20 alone - showed an increase of 81percent over the same period in 2009.

Visa spending data indicates that the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Australia, France and Brazil, have been the strongest contributors to tourism spending.

These countries alone are said to have accounted for 51percent of spending. Most of the spending was in the leisure and business travel categories.

Mozambique and Botswana were the only two African countries included in the top contributors to visitor spending in SA from June 1 to June 20.

"The international visitors have come and they are spending with their Visa cards. The spending is spread right across the 120000 merchants that accept Visa in South Africa," said Michael Lynch, global head of sponsorship management at Visa.

Another report released earlier also had good news. The 2010 SA Tourism Outlook report said that international travellers using their Visa payment cards spent more than $1,79billion while visiting SA last year and $566million during the first quarter of 2010.

LOC's Jermaine Craig was confident that South Africans would continue to support the tournament even though Bafana Bafana had been knocked out in the first stage.

"The home team is out, but South Africa is not down," he said. - I-Net Bridge

X