2010 FIFA World Cup Provides $45 Million Boost to the South Africa Economy

Visitor spending up 54 percent over 2009 levels with 45,000 transactions on average a day in the first three weeks of June

JOHANNESBURG, June 24 /CNW/ - The South African economy has seen an initial boost in visitor spending related to the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM), according to new cardholder spending data from Visa Inc.

During the period leading up to the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup(TM) and the first week of tournament matches (1 June through 20 June), spending by international visitors in South Africa on Visa-branded payment cards exceeded US$128 million (R974 million), up 54 percent from US$83 million (R629 million) during the same period in 2009. The number of transactions from 1 June through 20 June was 900,000 (45,000 per day on average), up 60 percent from nearly 600,000 (30,000 a day on average) during the same 20 days in 2009.

The money spent by international visitors on their Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards on the first ten days of the FIFA World Cup(TM) (Friday, June 11 through Sunday, June 20) alone showed an increase of 81 percent 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 to date. These five countries alone accounted for 51 percent of spending. Over 90 percent of spending was in typical leisure and business travel categories - accommodation, restaurants, retail, auto rental and air travel.

"You can see it for yourself on the streets and in the shopping malls of the nine host cities and now we're seeing the real-time data. The international visitors have come and they are spending with their Visa cards. The spending is spread right across the 159,000 merchants that accept Visa in South Africa," Michael Lynch, Global Head of Sponsorship Management at Visa Inc. said.

"The sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup(TM) in South Africa is working extremely well for Visa with promotional activities occurring in close to 100 countries, involving 500 financial institutions and merchants. We also have approximately 4,000 competition prize winners coming to South Africa for the tournament and the first waves of those have had a great experience," Lynch added.

    Top Contributors to Visitor Spending in South Africa from June 1 - 20,
2010, as Measured by Spending on Visa-Branded Payment Cards (USD1 = R7.58)

    Ranking   Country/Territory         Total spend     Total spend   Change
                                            (USD)          (Rand)       (%)
    1         United Kingdom            $25.3 million    R192 million   24
    2         United States             $25.2 million    R191 million   58
    3         Australia                 $6.2 million     R47 million   108
    4         France                    $4.7 million     R35 million    60
    5         Brazil                    $4.1 million     R31 million   390
    6         Germany                   $3.9 million     R30 million    55
    7         Mozambique                $3.8 million     R29 million   (20)
    8         Botswana                  $3.5 million     R26 million    21
    9         Canada                    $3.4 million     R26 million    43
    10        Mexico                    $2.9 million     R22 million   527

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 over US$1.79 billion while visiting South Africa during 2009 and $566 million during the first quarter of 2010.

Visa is one of six global FIFA partners with exclusive global category rights through 2014, and is 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 are the only payment cards accepted, along with cash, at all FIFA stadiums and the Onsite Stadium Merchandise Booths.

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: Teri Broughton, Visa Canada, 416-860-8869, tbrought@visa.com. Further information: www.visa.com/fifamediakit or www.thenewsmarket.com/visa.

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