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25 July 2012
As the eyes of the world turn to London this week, the UK is already embracing sporting fever following Bradley Wiggins' historic victory in the Tour de France. Bicycle shops, sales and services – a traditionally flat sector - enjoyed a 6.3% rise in spending week on week, whilst rising 5.1% year on year, according to the Visa London 2012 Games Spend Tracker.
Spending by international visitors in the UK on Visa cards increased 5.1% year on year, totaling £464.1m during the week. Categories like tourist attractions and exhibitions (up 13.2% year on year) and tickets and theatres (up 53% year on year) indicate visitors are taking in the sites and perhaps taking advantage of the Cultural Olympiad ahead of The Games beginning on Friday.
Visitors from the USA spent £56.4m on their Visa cards in the UK last week making them the top country in terms of overall spending. When it comes to average transaction values, visitors from China spent £198.56 per transaction, over three times the amount spent by American visitors (£59.60).
Domestic spending rebounded slightly week on week, with an increase of 0.2%. This domestic growth was driven by spending on clothes & footwear and hotels & restaurants, which benefitted from increases of 1.2% and 4.2% respectively.
Headlines for weekly consumer spending in the UK – (week 29) period 16th – 22nd July 2012:
Commenting on the findings, Dr. Steve Perry, Commercial Director at Visa Europe said:
"Bradley Wiggins' historic victory spurred people to get on their bikes – quite literally! Visa data shows that spending on bikes and associated products were up by over six percentage week on week, demonstrating the impact that sporting success can have on the nation's spending behaviour.
"Even before the majority of international visitors arrive this week, international spending on Visa cards in the UK is up 5% on the same period last year. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that The Games are not the only draw to the UK with strong annual increases at tourist attractions, exhibitions and theatres confirming the UK's position as an enduring cultural hot spot."
How the Visa London 2012 Games Spend Tracker is created
The Visa London 2012 Games Spend Tracker tracks both domestic and international spending in the UK during Games Times. The indicator for domestic spend is based on spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards which are used to make an average of over 1.9 billion transactions every quarter and account for £1 in £3 of all UK spending. For domestic based indicators – which are based on card issued to UK households – the spending data are adjusted (where applicable) for a variety of factors such as refunds, cash back, card issuance, changing consumer preferences to pay by card, and inflation. These adjustments mean these data are distinct from Visa Europe's business performance and are done so with the aim to provide a robust indicator of real UK consumer expenditure.
For international data, spending on all Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards from outside the UK is taken into account. The numbers are not adjusted for any of the aforementioned factors. Therefore direct comparisons with indicators of domestic spend should not be made; the international data should be viewed as indicative of trends in international spending patterns in the UK during the London 2012 Games.
Visa at The Games
Visa has been a global sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1986 and the Paralympic Games since 2002 and celebrated its 25th anniversary as a global sponsor last year. Visa implements and manages the entire payment infrastructure at every Games Time venue. London 2012 will be the first Olympic Games where visitors can choose not to pay with cash but instead to make contactless payments with either their contactless card or a suitable NFC-enabled mobile phone.