Canadian Visa Cardholders Increased Travel Spend in the U.S. by 18 per cent in 2010

Last year Canadian travellers contributed $9.2 billion to the U.S. tourism economy on their Visa cards

SAN FRANCISCO, April 25 /CNW/ - A new report by Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) indicates that Canadian Visa cardholders were the top international visitors to the U.S. in 2010. According to the 2011 Tourism Outlook: USA report released today, Canadian Visa cardholders increased travel spend in the U.S. by 18 per cent, from $7.8 billion in 2009 to $9.2 billion in 2010.

"Canadian tourists continue to have a positive impact on the U.S. tourism economy. The strong willingness and desire of Canadians to travel across the southern border reinforces the importance of the North American tourism industry to the region's continued economic growth," said William M. Sheedy, Group President, The Americas, Visa Inc.

For the past three years, Visa cardholders from Canada have been the number one contributor to the U.S.'s tourism economy. Other top source countries for inbound tourism to the U.S. during the 2010 calendar year are detailed below.

Top 2010 Inbound Source Countries, Based on Visa Payment Card Transactions

Country     2010     2009     Percent Growth (+/-)
Canada     $9.2B     $7.8B     18%
United Kingdom     $2.5B     $2.3B     11%
Mexico     $2.0B     $1.7B     18%
Brazil     $1.9B     $1.2B     63%
Japan     $1.8B     $1.7B     6%
China     $1.1B     $700M     64%
Australia     $1.1B     $861M     32%
France     $1.0B     $975M     6%
South Korea     $824M     $651M     27%
Germany     $800M     $769M     4%

Source: VisaVue Travel Data, 2009-2010

When travelling to the U.S., Canadians used their cards primarily in the areas of "Remaining Merchants" (ATMs, money transfers and banking institutions); "Other Retail" (jewelry stores, bookstores and specialty retail stores); and Lodging. Other top market segments, include:

Source Country       2010      2009       Percent Growth (+/-)
Remaining Merchants       $1.7B       $1.6B       9%
Other Retail         $1.7B       $1.4B       24%
Lodging         $1.6B       $1.4B       16%
Auto Rental         $256M       $232M       10%
Other travel & Entertainment       $303M       $254M       19%
Steamships/Cruise lines       $329M       $256M       29%
Supermarkets         $343M       $279M       23%
Oil          $407M       $296M       38%
Airlines         $480M       $365M       32%
Restaurants         $603M       $527M       14%

As the economy steadily recovers and the use of digital currency continues to play a significant role in the everyday lives of travellers, Visa will continue to work with its partners in the tourism industry to ensure that both residents and visitors to the U.S. enjoy the benefits of electronic payments.

For more information on VisaVue travel data or to view a complete copy of the Tourism Outlook: USA report, please visit

About Tourism Outlook: U.S.

Visa cardholder spending data cited is based upon VisaVue® Travel data, which reviews tourism spending on Visa-branded payment cards by international visitors from key source countries while visiting the U.S. during the calendar years 2010 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2010) and 2009 (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2009). These findings are based upon VisaVue® Travel data. Visa introduced the VisaVue® Travel tourism reports to a pilot group of U.S. tourism organizations in early 2008 and have continued to produce reports on a variety of popular tourist destinations every year since.

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 20,000 transaction messages 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



SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information:

Melissa Cassar
Visa Canada

Alison Ford 

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