Gulf fans splash $500k in Brazil during early stages of World Cup

Biggest spenders were from Saudi Arabia and UAE, who accounted for 70% of the total expenditure

GCC visitors to Brazil spent over $500,000 on their Visa accounts during the opening four-day period of the World Cup in Brazil.

The figures were collated as part of the Visa Everywhere Travel Report, issued by the global payments firm, which analyses cross border spend on all Visa products, including credit, debit and prepaid payment cards.

Leading the way in the GCC spend were visitors from Saudi Arabia and UAE, who accounted for 70 percent of the total.

Visa said the amount spent by GCC visitors was five times the amount spent over the same four-day period last year (June 12 to 15), and a 47 percent increase on the spend during the opening four-day period of the Confederations Cup (June 15 to 18, 2013).

The GCC spending was part of a total spending of $27m (AED99.17m) from global visitors to Brazil during the four-day opening period of the tournament.

“These numbers reflect the significant impact that mega sporting events like the World Cup can have in boosting local commerce in host market economies,” said Ihab Ayoub, General Manager for Middle East and North Africa at Visa.

“This positive trend aligns with Brazil’s expectation that more than 600,000 international travellers may visit the country during this event – ultimately boosting the country’s economy including a significant number from the Middle East.”

Visitors spent the most using their Visa card on accommodation, and in local restaurants.

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