Britain's gold rush sparks £457 million of international spending in first week of London 2012
Wednesday, 08 August 2012
August 8 - Britain's huge gold medal success at this summer's Olympic Games has attracted an equally impressive surge in spending by international visitors to the United Kingdom, with tourists shelling out £456.9 million ($714.6 million/€575.8 million) on their Visa cards in the first full week of London 2012.
This figure represents an eight per cent rise on the same week last year and it would appear that visitors are keen to celebrate the host nation's triumphs in restaurants, nightclubs, theatres and tourist attractions throughout Britain.
The international money spent on Visa cards in restaurants was up 19.6 per cent from £10.6 million ($16.6 million/€13.4 million) a year ago to £12.7 million ($19.9 million/€16 million), while nightclub outlay increased by 24 per cent to £2.1 million ($3.3 million/€2.6 million).
Despite the late nights, visitors have been keen to make the most of Britain's best sightseeing venues, evident in the 12 per cent rise in card spending on attractions and exhibitions to £2.3 million ($3.6 million/€2.9 million).
In addition, Visa card spending on theatres and other ticket sales rose by 114 per cent last week to £5.3 million ($8.3 million/€6.7 million), with the increase potentially being sparked by last-minute deals following reports of a quieter period for the theatre industry along with spending on tickets for the Olympics itself as additional tickets went on sale.
"The Games are building a massive feel-good factor not just for the host nation but for all those visitors currently enjoying all the UK has to offer," said Dr Steve Perry, commercial director at Visa Europe.
"There was plenty to cheer about in the first full week of the Games as total spending on Visa cards by international visitors reached £457 million [$714 million/€576 million].
"It would appear that visitors are out celebrating the success of their athletes in some style with restaurant spending up by almost a fifth and nightclub spending by almost a quarter on this time last year."
June 2012: London 2012 to deliver £800 million consumer spending boost to UK economy, claims Visa report