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Press release from CNW Group

Visa Account Holders Contribute $1.4 Billion to UK Tourism Economy During the London 2012 Olympic Games

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Visa Account Holders Contribute $1.4 Billion to UK Tourism Economy During the London 2012 Olympic Games12:01 EDT Wednesday, August 08, 2012Week two of Olympic Games brings additional US$716.7 millionin spend on Visa accountsTORONTO, Aug. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - According to Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), international travellers spent an additional US$716.7 million on their Visa accounts while in the United Kingdom during the second week of the London 2012 Olympic Games (July 30 - August 5), bringing the total spend on Visa accounts in the United Kingdom to more than $1.4 billion. While the biggest Visa spenders still hail from the United States, Visa account holders from Canada have increased travel spend on their Visa accounts by five per cent since the beginning of the Olympics Games."The Olympics are a showcase for athletics and innovation, and the same goes for tourism," said Kevin Burke, CMO of Core Products, Visa Inc. "It is easier than ever for international travellers safely to pay for goods and services with payment cards, contactless smart cards or mobile technology. Visa's spend data shows that more countries are able to take advantage of these payment innovations. Tourism is a vital component of economic growth for any nation, and it is exciting that Visa payment technology is making it possible for countries and regions around the world to have a bigger impact on the global economy."The top 10 contributors to the overall spend throughout the United Kingdom on Visa accounts by country/territory during the second week of the Olympics include:RankingCountry/TerritoryTotal Spend (USD)% of Total1United States$91.0 million13%2Japan$47.4 million7%3France$44.5 million6%4Italy$42.1 million6%5Australia$35.3 million5%6Republic of Ireland$34.3 million5%7Spain$33.5 million5%8Germany$33.3 million5%9Canada$25.3 million4%10Sweden$23.9 million3%The top 10 contributing countries accounted for 57 per cent of the total amount spent on Visa accounts in the United Kingdom during this time period.The top three spending categories remained the same as the first week of the Olympic Games - "Services" ($139.1 million), including items such as shoe and jewelry repair and spas; "Entertainment" ($106.6 million), including theater tickets and other attractions; and "Airlines" ($82.4 million). The "Clothing" category moved up to be the fourth highest spending category with $67.9 million, surpassing "Other Retail" ($66.3 million), which includes bike shops, bookstores, antique stores, and drug stores.For more information on Visa travel products and tips for international travel payment, click here.About the Data:Olympic spend data is collected by Visa Europe and includes Visa Europe and Visa Inc. account holder spending in the U.K. Total spend includes both face-to-face transactions and card-not-present transactions.About Visa Inc.: 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 www.corporate.visa.com.For further information concerning Visa's sponsorship of the Olympic Games, please contact Nancy Panter at 415.244.9857 or in the U.K. (0)7725 059 778. More information and assets are available at www.visa.com/olympicmediakit.   SOURCE: VISA Canada CorporationFor further information: Contacts: Janine Allen Fleishman-Hillard 416-645-3657 janine.allen@fleishman.com Erin Sufrin  Visa Canada 416-860-3869 esufrin@visa.com