Foreign Visa card spending reaches USD$312 million during the lead-up to and
during the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in South Africa

Spending up 70 percent over 2009 levels with 55,000 Visa transactions on average a day from the start of June until the end of the day of the final

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, July 14 /CNW/ - The South African economy has seen a boost in foreign visitor spending on Visa cards during the lead-up to and during the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM), according to the latest cardholder spending data from Visa Inc.

During the period leading up to the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup(TM) and the end of the tournament (June 1 to July 11), spending by international visitors in South Africa on Visa-branded payment cards exceeded US$312 million.

This is an increase of 70 percent or US$128 million from US$184 million during the same period in 2009. More than 90 percent of spending was in typical leisure and business travel categories - accommodation, restaurants, retail, auto rental and air travel.

The number of transactions from June 1 through July 11, 2010 was 2.2 million (55,000 per day on average), up 79 percent from approximately 1.2 million (30,000 a day on average) during the same 41 days in 2009.

"The World Cup has been an outstanding success for football and for South Africa," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer at Visa. Inc. "It has definitely been a spectacular success for the local economy and businesses. The foreign visitors came in force and spent in force with their Visa cards.

"The direct economic benefit to date in 2010 has been significant and the spending on Visa cards by foreigners confirms the immediate economic benefits of hosting major international events."

    
    Table 1: Total spending in the three phases of the 2010 FIFA World
    Cup(TM) as compared to spending during the same dates in 2008 and 2009.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Period       Dates                 2010 USD      2010 RAND    Change over
                                      (millions)    (millions)      2009 (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pre          June 1 - June 10         54.1         409.5           29
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Group        June 11 - June 25       122.1         924.3           88
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    R16/finals   June 26 - July 11       136.3         1,031           77
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total                                312.5         2,365           70
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Table 2: Top Contributors to Visitor Spending in South Africa from
    1 June 2010 to 11 July 2010, as Measured by Spending on Visa-Branded
    Payment Cards (USD1 = R7.57)

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ranking      Country/Territory    Total spend   Total spend   Change over
                                         (USD         (Rand         2009 (%)
                                       millions)     millions)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1            USA                     59.45          450            80
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2            UK                      59.40          449            23
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3            Australia                14.8          112           125
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4            Brazil                   13.4          101           634
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5            France                   10.8           82            80
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6            Germany                   9.2           70            76
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7            Canada                    8.8           67            68
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8            Mozambique                8.1           61           (24)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9            Mexico                   7.53           57           n/a
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10           Botswana                 7.47           56            18
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Source: VisaVue Travel database - 2009-2010 monthly cross-border tourism
    spend
    

Visa provides the most widely accepted payment card in the world, meeting the needs of mobile consumers reaching for credit, debit and prepaid cards wherever and whenever they travel. According to the 2010 South Africa Tourism Outlook report recently released by Visa Inc., international travelers using their Visa payment cards spent USD$566 million during the first quarter of 2010 (January to March), an increase of 34 percent on the same period in 2009.

Visa is one of six global FIFA partners with exclusive global category rights through 2014, and was the exclusive card for the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM). In recognition of Visa's sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa(TM), Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards were the only payment cards accepted, along with cash, at all FIFA stadiums and the Onsite Stadium Merchandise Booths.

For further information, visit www.visa.com/fifamediakit.

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 10,000 transactions 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 www.corporate.visa.com

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman-Hillard, sarah.vanlange@fleishman.ca, 416-645-8173

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