International Visa card spending in British Columbia tops US$115 million
during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Average of US$6.8 million and 65,000 international Visa debit, credit and prepaid transactions a day in British Columbia during the Games

VANCOUVER, March 2 /CNW/ - According to Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), spending by international visitors on Visa cards at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and in British Columbia was over US$115 million during the 17 days of the Games.

Total international Visa cardholder spending in British Columbia between the day of the Opening Ceremony (Friday, 12 February 2010) and the day of the Closing Ceremony (Sunday 28 February 2010) was US$115.3 million.

When comparing these 17 days with the same period in 2009, international Visa cardholder spending increased by 93 per cent in British Columbia.

The total number of transactions on internationally issued Visa cards in British Columbia during the Games was 1.1 million - an increase of 85 per cent on the same period last year.

    Countries that recorded over US$1 million in spending were:
    -   $61.1m - USA
    -   $ 7.8m - China
    -   $ 5.1m - United Kingdom
    -   $ 4.3m - Russian Federation
    -   $ 3.7m - Australia
    -   $ 3.6m - Japan
    -   $ 3.6m - South Korea
    -   $ 2.8m - Hong Kong, China
    -   $ 2.4m - Norway
    -   $ 2.1m - Germany
    -   $ 2.0m - Switzerland
    -   $ 1.6m - Brazil
    -   $ 1.4m - France
    -   $ 1.2m - Sweden

Accommodation, travel, restaurant, entertainment and retail sales accounted for more than 92 per cent of the transactions during the Games in British Columbia.

"Across the board, the Games have been a tremendous success. We've seen that success flow through to hotels, restaurants, retail stores, the Olympic Superstore and tour operators across British Columbia," said Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer for Visa Inc.

"One of the great benefits for a host country is the economic injection applied at Games time by international visitors. Your saw it for yourself on the streets of Vancouver and these numbers confirm it. Canadians welcomed the world and it looks like the world responded by getting their Visa cards out and spending up."

Visa has been a proud Worldwide Sponsor of the Olympic Games for 24 years and is the only card accepted at Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games venues for any official Games-related transactions. Only Visa card products - credit, debit, prepaid and Visa electron cards - are accepted at all POS card acceptance devices and ATMs in 2010 venues.

At the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Visa has installed a special ATM network and more than 800 point-of-sale acceptance devices at competition and non-competition venues, including the Main Press Centre, the International Broadcast Centre and the Olympic and Paralympic Villages in Vancouver and Whistler.

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

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information: For further information: concerning Visa and the Olympic Games, please contact Nancy Panter in Vancouver at (415) 244-9857 or

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