Olympic visitors flex the plastic

Stat of the day: £457m. International visitors have spent over £450m on their Visa cards since the start of the London 2012. So the Olympics are good for the economy, after all...

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 02 Oct 2014

In the first week of the Olympics, visitors spent a whopping £457m on meals out, trips to the theatre, and nights out on the tiles, the credit card suppier revealed. Tourist spend on Visa cards is up 8% on this time last year.

As Team GB notched up the medals last week, jubilant fans and tourists spent around £12.7m on Visa cards in restaurants, an increase of almost 20% on a year ago. And they didn't stop with dinner: Visa reckons that the amount spent at nightclubs went up by 24% to £2.1m.

Olympic visitors have also found time to indulge in other cultural activities too: Visa card spending on theatres and other ticket sales more than doubled to £5.3m. The increased Theatreland revenues may have been partly down to the plethora of last-minute deals at the moment but the additional Olympics tickets on sale certainly tipped the scales.

Of course, if Mastercard or Amex were to release their Olympics sales data, it might be a very different story. Visa is a major sponsor of London 2012, and the only credit or debit card accepted at any London 2012 venues. Perhaps it's not that visitors are spending more; they are just being forced to use leave their other cards in their wallets...

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